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Meredith Richardson
Outwitting Cognitive Dissonance (5/22/15)
Meredith Richardson
We like to believe that we are rational beings who make rational decisions. Sometimes, we are. And sometimes, we are not.

John Lande
Recipes for Success (5/22/15)
John Lande
I love the cookbook that Andrea and 1001 chefs wrote, Cooking Up a Deal: Negotiation Recipes for Success. It’s a wonderfully short and fun piece to assign for the last day of class.

Beth Graham
Checkmate: Early Moves Define Negotiation (5/22/15)
Beth Graham
The Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas recently published Don Philbin’s article entitled “Checkmate: Early Moves Define Negotiation Outcomes” in its newsletter. In his article, the Chair of the Texas Bar’s ADR Section discusses the insight predictive analytics can provide to negotiators.


Waiving the Right to Arbitrate in the United States: Should the Prejudice Requirement be Discarded? (5/22/15)
Jack Wright Nelson
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ordered a fund management committee (‘SBC’) to arbitrate its dispute with Navistar International (‘Navistar’) – at Navistar’s request – despite the fact that Navistar refused SBC’s own request for arbitration, ignored SBC’s formal notice of arbitration, and then litigated SBC’s claim in court for over a year.

Tammy Lenski
Control Your Emotions Better by Labeling Them (5/22/15)
Tammy Lenski
If you want to control your emotions better during difficult conversations, do something counter-intuitive: Give up trying not to feel them. Instead, put a label on them. Recognizing and naming an emotion can have a powerful effect on quelling it. Psych professor Matthew Lieberman, author of Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, calls it “affect labeling.” You can use affect labeling to help yourself and others.

Joe Markowitz
The Art of Negotiation (5/22/15)
Joe Markowitz
A long time ago, when I was fairly new at law practice, I represented a plaintiff in a contentious sexual harassment case against a large company. After a series of pre-trial battles, the defendant's counsel opened the door to the possibility of settlement, throwing out an insultingly low-ball number. I wasn't sure how to respond.

Phyllis Pollack
The Simplest Way to Negotiate (5/22/15)
Phyllis Pollack
I have mediated over 1400 matters. Thus, I have seen parties approach negotiation in a myriad of ways; some appear to be “winging it” while others appear to have some sort of strategy in mind. The common thread appears to be “self-interest” or how can each party get the best deal possible. Yet, pursuing one’s own self-interest at the expense of the other party often leads to poor results for both parties.

Larry Susskind
Evaluating a Consensus Building Effort (5/22/15)
Larry Susskind
I worry a lot about how to evaluate the success or failure of consensus building efforts in which I get involved. When I try to convince someone in a position of responsibility to commit to consensus building, I need to tell them how they'll be able to gauge the results.

Belinda Jokinen
Divorce Mediation is a Waste of Time (5/15/15)
Belinda Jokinen
I’ve heard it so many times. My clients say that mediation won’t work for them. The most common reason they give is that the other party (ie: {exes} spouse or significant other) won’t agree to anything reasonable. The second most common reason given is that they will only do something if forced to by a Judge. Both are absolutely right.

Gary Direnfeld
Differentiating Between Mediation, Med/Arb and Parenting Coordination (5/15/15)
Gary Direnfeld
There are only so many options available for separated parents to settle their parenting disputes in a way that minimizes lawyer involvement. Chief among them are: Mediation; Mediation/Arbitration (Med/Arb); and Parenting Coordination.

Katherine Graham
Diffusing Disputes: The Public in the Private of Arbitration, the Private in Courts, and the Erasure of Rights (5/15/15)
Katherine Graham
Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School, has published “Diffusing Disputes: The Public in the Private of Arbitration, the Private in Courts, and the Erasure of Rights,” 124 Yale Law Journal 2015. In her article, Professor Resnik provides a different perspective regarding the effect recent Supreme Court precedent pertaining to class waivers has had on arbitration in the United States.

Dan Simon
The Meanings of May Fourth (5/15/15)
Dan Simon
My social media feed was filled with clever posts yesterday (May 4th, 2015.) The Stars Wars geeks in my life are many and so were the “may the fourth be with you” memes. But every time I saw “May 4th” a very different image came to my mind. In 1970, four students were killed and nine others wounded by gunfire from the National Guard at Kent State. I went to Kent State in the 90’s, not knowing much about the events of May 4th.

Phyllis Pollack
Beyond “Being Difficult”! (5/15/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Recently I read an article about two lawyers assaulting each other during a deposition being conducted in the courthouse. Two attorneys were arrested and charged with simple assault on Wednesday after they got into a heated dispute that turned into a fist fight at the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack, authorities and witnesses said.

Beth Graham
Fundamentally Unfair: An Empirical Analysis of Social Media Arbitration Clauses (5/08/15)
Beth Graham
Our systematic examination of 329 of the world’s largest social media providers reveals that 29 percent of these providers require users to submit to predispute mandatory arbitration as a condition of using their services.

Bruce Friedman
Mediation Impasse-Busting Techniques (5/08/15)
Bruce Friedman
There comes a time in every mediation when negotiations reach an impasse. Negotiations can stall at the outset of a mediation when the parties are unwilling to bargain with one another either because “it is the other side’s turn,” “we won’t respond to that outrageous demand” or “we won’t accept that insulting offer.”

Kimberly Ackmann
Bringing Court ADR Programs into the Courtroom (5/08/15)
Kimberly Ackmann
As the RSI foreclosure mediation team continues to incubate foreclosure mediation in Illinois, we have explored a variety of ways to reach out and connect with homeowners who could benefit from our programs’ services. One approach has been to establish our programs’ presence at the courthouses where homeowners are attempting to navigate the foreclosure process. Going to court can be an overwhelming or intimidating prospect for homeowners facing foreclosure.

Andrea Maia
New Winds from Brazil (5/08/15)
Andrea Maia
In the late 90’s in Brazil, a sudden interest in Mediation started to develop under the influence of the newly enacted Argentinean legislation (1995). Unfortunately, just until a few years ago, mediation had grown at a very slow pace, with a few advocates effortlessly lobbying for its widespread implementation and for a local legislation.

Tammy Lenski
Conflict Resolution Activities: The Fist Press (5/08/15)
Tammy Lenski
When I’m mediating, coaching, or training, there are moments I want to illustrate why resistance builds up. There are moments I want to help someone understand in a quick and visceral way that pushing their agenda relentlessly is contributing to getting things good and stuck.

Phyllis Pollack
The Slippery Slope (5/08/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Everyone enters into a negotiation with the intent to be honest. But- ay- that is the “rub”. One party’s (“Jane”) definition of “honesty” may be different than the other party’s (“Mary”). Why? Research has shown that one’s honesty will vary with the environment.

Katherine Graham
Good Practice Framework (5/01/15)
Katherine Graham
“Universities should include mediation in their framework for handling student complaints,” says the IOAHE – and so say all of us at CMP! The formal process is long, complex and saps everyone’s time and energy; most students with complaints about staff behaviours and attitude would prefer to talk it out, in our experience.

Richard Birke
Federal Arbitration Case Update | Bound and Determined (5/01/15)
Richard Birke
APMM contracted with Noatex to build a building and Noatex subcontracted with King. When Noatex deemed King’s work inadequate, King filed a stop work notice and informed APMM that Noatex owed King $260,000. This matter resulted in APMM’s interpleading the money while the federal court in Mississippi figured out who was entitled to what.

Joe Markowitz
Applied Decision Theory (5/01/15)
Joe Markowitz
Richard Birke, a law professor at Willamette University, gave a talk at the ABA Dispute Resolution conference expressing frustration with the term "Alternative Dispute Resolution." The term is too limiting to describe the many ways that the skills of negotiation, mediation, and other forms of conflict resolution can be applied in practice.

Tammy Lenski
Just Be Reasonable (5/01/15)
Tammy Lenski
When a person is very angry, the part of their brain associated with being reasonable and articulating reasonable thoughts more or less shuts down. Closed for business. Sign on the door — go away, can’t do this right now.

Ian MacDuff
On Inquiry (5/01/15)
Ian MacDuff
This blog entry arises not so much from any mediation, but from one aspect of regular social encounters that is all too normal a part of negotiation and mediation. As the title suggests, it’s about the role of inquiry, asking questions – not merely gathering information, but going beyond that in the expression of interest in one’s social contacts and especially the other disputant.

Michael Moffitt
Whisper, "Here's My Contact Information; Don't Accept Anything Until We've Talked." (4/24/15)
Michael Moffitt
In this morning’s Chronicle of Higher Education, an article entitled “Time to Change the Rules of Negotiation,” focusing on entry-level employment negotiations, what’s negotiable, what’s reasonable, and what’s not.

Beth Graham
Use and Perception of International Commercial Mediation and Conciliation: An Empirical Study (4/24/15)
Beth Graham
This Article analyzes results from the first-ever large-scale international survey regarding the use and perception of international commercial mediation and conciliation by the international legal and business communities.

Jeffrey Grubman
ADR is on the Rise in Employment Cases (4/24/15)
Jeffrey Grubman
While there is a long history of utilizing arbitration in the labor union context, the majority of employment disputes have historically been litigated in federal court.

Martin Svatos
And What is Your Biggest Achievement in Mediation? (4/24/15)
Martin Svatos
The MBB was founded in 2006 in order to promote mediation not only in the USA but also worldwide. Its main task is expressed in the following motto: “The only lasting peace is the one built by the disputants themselves.”

Phyllis Pollack
To Build Rapport- Laugh Together! (4/24/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Well- we missed it! March 20 was International Day of Happiness. Evidently, it was created by a United Nations Resolution passed at its 118th plenary meeting on June 28, 2012, declaring March 20th of each year to be the holiday. As one might guess, the resolution was promoted by the Kingdom of Bhutan which has a Gross National Happiness Index.

Mary Novak
Domestic Violence Finding Overrides Agreement to Mediate (4/17/15)
Mary Novak
A case in the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court stands as a reminder of the complexities of family mediation when domestic violence is involved. Indeed, the court found that a finding of domestic violence can trump a requirement to mediate.

Richard Birke
Federal Employment Case Update: Pizza and Beer (4/17/15)
Richard Birke
When Jacqueline Conners brought a class action lawsuit against her employer Gusano’s (alleging unlawful tip pooling practices), Gusano’s instituted an arbitration policy that required individual arbitration of any disputes.

Beth Graham
Fifth Circuit Rules Arbitrator Exceeded His Authority in Contract Dispute (4/17/15)
Beth Graham
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has held that an arbitrator exceeded his authority in a contract dispute. In PoolRe Insurance Corp. v. Organizational Strategies Inc., No. 14-20433, Organizational Strategies Inc. (“OSI”) entered into a contract with Capstone Associated Services to create a new captive insurance program.

Lesley Allport
Good Practice Framework (4/17/15)
Lesley Allport
Universities should include mediation in their framework for handling student complaints! The formal process is long, complex and saps everyone’s time and energy; most students with complaints about staff behaviours and attitude would prefer to talk it out, in our experience.

Kelly Browe Olson
Ellen Pao: Reddit has Stopped Negotiating Initial Salaries (4/17/15)
Kelly Browe Olson
The Wall Street Journal ran an interview with Ellen Pao yesterday. She discusses many things, but her quote regarding salary negotiations really hit a nerve.

Phyllis Pollack
The Value of Joint Sessions (4/17/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Over the last few years, the trend in California has been not to hold joint sessions in mediation but, to conduct the entire mediation using separate sessions so that the adverse parties are never in the same room at the same time.

Barry Goldman
The Future of Mediation Careers (4/15/15)
Barry Goldman
Barry Goldman poses that an analysis of the health of the field is looking at the current open job openings for that field--he uses this as a divining rod to look at the future of the mediation field.


Both Textbook and Handbook – Lisa Parkinson’s “Family Mediation” - Book Review (4/10/15)
Lisa Parkinson, Sabine Walsh
Whether for family mediators in particular, or family lawyers in general, Lisa Parkinson’s third edition of ‘Family Mediation’ is the authoritative textbook and guide that no professional adviser in family disputes should be without.

Lorraine Segal
Moving from the Shadows into the Sunlight (4/10/15)
Lorraine Segal
Perhaps my biggest learning on my own journey to healing and recovery is that I have a choice at any moment, to continue to stand in a shadow of my own creation, or to change my attitude so I can move into light, trust, faith and optimism. Your attitude makes the difference.

Dick Price
Considering Reconciling? (4/10/15)
Dick Price
This is kind of a chicken and egg situation. Which came first, the possibility of reconciliation or choosing to use the Collaborative process?

Michael A. Zeytoonian
Courts are Limited When it Comes to Problem Solving (4/10/15)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
Recently I represented a party in a dispute over some business equipment. This case would have been better resolved by the parties either directly communicating with each other or communicating and negotiating with each other through their lawyers. But before that could be done, one party opted to file a complaint in federal court and as a result, we were engaged in court proceedings.

Larry Susskind
Reaching Agreement on the Nile (4/10/15)
Larry Susskind
Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan recently signed a Declaration of Principles aimed at resolving an increasingly contentious dispute over Ethiopia’s ongoing effort to build the $4.6 billion-dollar hydroelectric power plant project called the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Africa’s largest. The Declaration does not seek to resolve the larger question of how the overall waters of the Nile will be shared. The fact that the Declaration was signed is an important accomplishment. I want to look closely, though, at the ten principles spelled out in the Declaration because I’m worried that some may be difficult to implement.

Maria Simpson
Juries of Their Peers (4/10/15)
Maria Simpson
When I was in fourth grade, a few millennia ago, our teacher established a system so we could settle a lot of our own disputes. General mischief-maker, Walter, was elected judge, a decision that completely confounded our teacher, and the class was the jury. We explained our choice of Walter as judge by saying that judges always behave well, and if Walter were judge, he would have to behave better than usual. It was completely logical to us, but I’ll bet the teacher would never have seen that possibility and would have continued to discipline Walter rather than offer opportunity.

Phyllis Pollack
The Priming Effect of Temperature (4/10/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Roaming around on the internet the other day, I stumbled across an interesting article on LiveScience.com about the effect of temperature on our psyches. Entitled, “5 Weird Ways Cold Weather Affects Your Psyche”, the author Laura Geggel discusses different studies showing that we react differently depending upon whether a room is hot or cold. While the March 11, 2015 article discusses 5 “weird ways”, three of them are pertinent to negotiations.

Stephanie West Allen
That's Not How it Happened! Let Me Tell You the True Story (4/10/15)
Stephanie West Allen
How can two or more people sincerely, earnestly, and confidently have such widely divergent versions of events? As mediators, we often have heard stories from parties in which the facts are conflicting and yet no one seems to be deliberately deceiving.

Bill Marsh
Gratitude For The Law (4/03/15)
Bill Marsh
This year in the UK we are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter”. Interestingly, and less well-known, this deal was mediated.

Richard Birke
Federal Court Case Update, Filings and Firings (4/03/15)
Richard Birke
Following is the start of a new series on the JAMS ADR Blog, featuring short synopses of recent case rulings related to arbitration or ADR. We’re excited to share this information as we know this is an area that will be of interest to our readers and those in the legal industry.

Jeffrey Krivis
Where Have All The Idealists Gone? Long Time Passing, Part II (4/03/15)
Jeffrey Krivis
Over the years, a common theme heard among litigators after a grueling case where one side loses is that there must be a better way to manage disputes. In the mid -1970s, legal scholars from around the nation came together to review ways to make the legal process more user-friendly and accessible. They concluded, among other things, that a multi-door courthouse with processes that were designed to fit the forum to the dispute might be worth considering.

Dan Simon
Mediation: Why Distinguish Between Models? (4/03/15)
Dan Simon
This blog highlights examples of a typical conversation between mediators trying to decide the importance of different models.

Tammy Lenski
How to Be a Problem-solving Superhero Without Fixing it Yourself (4/03/15)
Tammy Lenski
Years ago, a student came to my office with a problem. I was a dean at the time and I had many appointments like this in an average day. To give you a sense of what it’s like to be a dean, I’ll tell you that when I left that job to begin a new career as a conflict resolutionary, one of the good-bye gifts from my staff was a fire extinguisher “to remember the job by.”

Phyllis Pollack
Snap Judgments (4/03/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Snap Judgments. We all make them … and how they can lead us astray! This obvious point is made in a blog posted on March 2, 2015 on the Harvard Program on Negotiation’s blog website ( entitled “How Snap Judgments Can Lead Negotiators Astray In Negotiation Conversations” ).

Katherine Graham
When Man First Came Down From the Trees… He Decided to Own the Language (3/31/15)
Katherine Graham
I am disappointed by the media’s return to the generic ‘he’ and ‘man’. What happened to respect and dignity? I certainly don’t feel respected when I’m told that ‘mankind’s first dwellings were…’ or that ‘a doctor feels he needs to…’. I feel my dignity is under attack when, on challenging this, I am told that a generic masculine is ‘understood’ to ‘include’ women, and that really I am making a silly, outdated fuss about nothing very important.

Martin Quinn
Joint Sessions: Are Lawyers Right to Hate Them? (3/31/15)
Martin Quinn
Mention holding a joint session and you are sure to provoke an argument between mediators and teachers of mediation on one side and lawyers who represent clients in mediations on the other. That dichotomy is not wholly accurate because many mediators have also abandoned the use of joint sessions.

Susan Yates
Family Law Arbitration Act (3/31/15)
Susan Yates
People who have been involved with family law are likely to have encountered mediation, especially in child-related issues. But what about arbitration?

Michael A. Zeytoonian
Is This the Best Dispute Resolution We Can Do? (3/31/15)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
I suppose somewhere, some group celebrated the “win” of recapturing Syrian cities as a strategic victory. The problem was that there was nothing left to recapture. Whatever had once been there was gone. The people were either dead, injured or gone. There was no other movement.

Phyllis Pollack
Mediation Confidentiality Strikes Again (3/31/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Once again, an appellate court in California has confirmed the “…near categorical prohibition against judicially crafted exceptions to mediation confidentiality.” In Amis v Greenberg Traurig, LLP et al, (Issued March 18, 2015, Case No. BC 426815) (Id. at 8.), the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held that mediation confidentiality precluded an attorney malpractice action from going forward.

Joe Markowitz
Thirteen Days in September (3/31/15)
Joe Markowitz
Speaking of peace in the Middle East, I've been reading the new book about the Camp David negotiations by Lawrence Wright. Surprisingly, reading this account made me feel a little more hopeful about the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the great unfinished business of the Camp David accords, even though the conventional wisdom in light of Prime Minister Netanyahu's recent re-election is that resolution of the issues in the territories is now a long ways off.

Tammy Lenski
The Primal Roots of Blame, Defensiveness, and Reactivity (3/31/15)
Tammy Lenski
Handling blame, defensiveness, and high reactivity during conflict can challenge both the informal mediators and professional conflict resolvers among us. I’ve found that the “primal lens” for considering possible roots of these behaviors to be really helpful and want to share it with you.

Victoria Pynchon
Become a World Class Negotiator (3/21/15)
Victoria Pynchon
It's not rocket science and it's not a secondary sexual characteristic. You don't "negotiate like a man" or "like a woman." You read, you practice, you fail, you succeed, you learn.

Cynthia Alkon
Blue Bloods and Restorative Justice (3/21/15)
Cynthia Alkon
As we know, it is rare that any form of dispute resolution makes it onto network television in prime time. Friday night’s episode of Blue Bloods—the New York police drama starring Tom Selleck—featured a story line about restorative justice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good example. In the story, a young woman whose family was killed when she was a child got a letter from the convicted killer.

Katherine Graham
3 Reasons Why Workplace Mediation Should Be Mandatory (3/21/15)
Katherine Graham
A sacred cow of mediation is that it must be voluntary – and anything else is undermining the values of mediation and somehow almost violating people’s human rights. I disagree. And I’ll explain why.

Alberto Elisavetsky
Carta de auspicio de Gian Piero Turchi, Presidente de World Mediation Forum & Director de Maestría en Mediación de la Universidad de Padova (3/21/15)
Alberto Elisavetsky
Agradecemos las palabras de auspicio y las reflexiones que nos ha enviado en su carta Gian Piero Turchi, Presidente de World Mediation Forum y Director de la Maestría en Mediación de la Universidad de Padova, en relación a nuestro evento e-MARC 2015.

Beth Graham
Texas Legislature Considers Measure that Would Require Out-of-Network Emergency Room Providers to Arbitrate Payment Claims (3/21/15)
Beth Graham
A bill seeking to establish an arbitration process designed to protect patients who are treated by an out-of-network provider during an emergency room visit from being hit with hefty medical charges is currently before the Texas Legislature. House Bill 1638, “Relating to nonpreferred provider claims under a preferred provider benefit plan related to emergency care,” was introduced by Representative Smithee and filed on February 19, 2015. An accompanying proposal was introduced in the Texas Senate on March 12th by Senator Taylor of Galveston.

Dan Simon
Conflict Transformation in TV and Movies (3/21/15)
Dan Simon
My wife and I started using movie and TV clips in mediation training after participating in a workshop facilitated by Baruch Bush and Joe Folger called Rethinking Conflict in 2008. We were so inspired by this teaching and learning tool that we picked up the ball and ran with it.

Viggo Boserup
The Managed Mediation of a Payor-Provider Health Care Dispute (3/21/15)
Viggo Boserup
Typically, more than 95 percent of mediations are initiated by one or two parties who agreed on a mediator, scheduled the mediation, filed a brief and showed up at the mediation session. The mediation session is often the first time the parties discuss the issues with the mediator or each other.

Jeffrey Krivis
Where Have All The Idealists Gone? Long Time Passing (3/21/15)
Jeffrey Krivis
A recent discussion among a seasoned group of neutrals about the struggles of the professional mediator caught my eye. Some complained that the trend in litigated cases was to reduce the value of the mediator to a commodity, due to the constraints put on them by the litigants who were not process oriented.

Sarah Cole
Blurred Lines: Non-attorneys Representing Parties in Arbitration (3/13/15)
Sarah Cole
As an arbitrator and teacher of arbitration, I’ve noticed that legal issues are more frequently the focus in arbitration proceedings, both non-labor and labor. I have watched non-lawyer representatives struggle to make legal arguments (although, in fairness, sometimes that is true of lawyers as well). To ensure adequate representation of parties in arbitration involving legal issues, I believe that the parties should be represented by counsel, and that failure to have counsel (rather than non-lawyer representatives) in such proceedings may well be the unauthorized practice of law.

Katherine Graham
Personal Insight into how to Engage with Someone with a Hidden Disability (3/13/15)
Katherine Graham
Disability. Is it my new dirty word? Dis-abled? Less able? Less competent? Can’t do the same as everybody else? It’s a scary word. Both for the person labelled as disabled and for those working around them. The whole disabled vocabulary is fraught.

Vivian Scott
8 Habits of a Conflict Resolver (3/13/15)
Vivian Scott
Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard someone say, “I don’t do conflict.” It’s the type of statement that can be mindboggling because, really, we all do conflict. Whether small and fleeting or the only thing you can think about for months, we are all in some way or another doing conflict every day.

Dan Simon
Minnesota Considers Moving Divorce out of Court (3/13/15)
Dan Simon
“In our culture, court means contest – it means a fight. . . we’ve culturally viewed divorce as a battle” says Bill Doherty. Doherty says that, no matter how well-intentioned the lawyers, the assumption that judicial supervision is needed greatly increases the risk of destructive conflict arising. Doherty believes that, very often, couples who get divorced without the help of lawyers do better than they would with lawyers. Doherty’s plan takes divorce entirely outside the courts.

Chris Poole
There’s Always Time for a Second Opinion (3/13/15)
Chris Poole
The litigation process is full of variables and, no matter how strong a party’s case might be, going to trial is rarely a sure thing. There is also a tendency for counsel and clients to be overconfident in their assessments of their position. Thanks to the evolution of ADR, however, parties have many options available to them to secure an unbiased, neutral evaluation or second opinion about the strengths and weaknesses of a particular case and trial strategy.

Shawn Davis
Connecticut Evaluates Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program (3/13/15)
Shawn Davis
In October 2014, the Connecticut Judicial Branch released an evaluation of its Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program. The Connecticut study evaluates six years of foreclosure mediation program data, dating from the program’s inception in 2008. As RSI prepares the first evaluation of Illinois’ six foreclosure mediation incubation programs, the earliest of which began accepting cases in December 2013, it’s interesting to review Connecticut’s data and how the program has evolved over time.

Jill Gross
SEC Approves FINRA Proposal to Further Revise Definition of Public and Non-Public Arbitrator (3/06/15)
Jill Gross
The SEC approved FINRA’s proposal to ” refine and reorganize the definitions of ‘non-public’ arbitrator and ‘public’ arbitrator.” Customers who file an arbitration claim against a broker dealer or associated person now has the right to an all-public arbitration panel, so the definitions of who fits the two classifications are high stakes.

Beth Graham
Amarillo COA Overturns Order Holding Arbitration Provision is Unconscionable in Cotton Marketing Pool Dispute (3/06/15)
Beth Graham
Texas’ Seventh District Court of Appeals in Amarillo has overturned a Cochran County court’s order refusing to compel a cotton-marketing dispute to arbitration. In Ecom USA, Inc. v. Clark, No. 07-14-00240-CV (February 25, 2015), a group of cotton farmers agreed to deliver any crops grown in 2010 and 2011 to a marketing pool that was owned and administered by Ecom USA, Inc.

Richard Chernick
First Things First: Design the Arbitration Process You Want (3/06/15)
Richard Chernick
The principles for drafting a pre-dispute arbitration clause are straightforward. They do require an understanding of the legal relationship, which will be the subject of the clause, some sense of the nature of disputes that are likely to arise and a basic understanding of arbitration process.

Joe Markowitz
Bad Deals (3/06/15)
Joe Markowitz
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress yesterday about the conflict with Iran (transcript here) illustrates an attitude many parties in conflict take toward settlement negotiations. As the possibility of a negotiated resolution of a conflict begins to emerge, elements on one side or the other often find themselves resisting the deal.

Meredith Richardson
How Do Blind Spots Affect Conflict? (3/06/15)
Meredith Richardson
We all have blind spots. There are things we intentionally ignore and things that we unintentionally ignore. How do those blind spots impact our reaction to conflict?

Phyllis Pollack
“Good Faith” vs. “Naive Realism”? (3/06/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Perhaps I am an idealist, or even though a baby boomer with many years of litigation experience behind me— a bit naïve. Or –perhaps it is because I am a mediator and so am privy to both sides of the dispute and can see the “story” as an outsider or bystander. I do not know.

Sarah Cole
Further Thoughts on Armstrong Arbitration Award (2/27/15)
Sarah Cole
Lance Armstrong was named the winner of the Tour de France in 2002, 2003, and 2004. When Armstrong won in 2004, considerable speculation existed regarding whether he had won cleanly. SCA Promotions, the prize insurer, was reluctant to pay the prize money given the speculation, and ultimately SCA, Armstrong, and Tailwind Sports arbitrated the case.

Beth Graham
Teaching Students to Be Problem-Solvers and Dispute-Resolvers (2/27/15)
Beth Graham
Reports on what lawyers should know, including the MacCrate Report and Educating Lawyers, regularly list problem-solving, negotiation, and dispute resolution as skills that lawyers should have. Best Practices for Legal Education called for law schools to educate students in problem-solving and in practical wisdom, in order to solve clients’ problems effectively and responsibly.

Lorraine Brennan
Do We Need a New York Convention for Mediation/Conciliation? (2/27/15)
Lorraine Brennan
The 1958 United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention) is viewed by many as one of the most (if not the most) successful commercial treaties to which the United States has become a party.

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