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Beth Graham
E.D. Texas Orders Guardrail Safety Case to Mediation Following $175 Million Jury Award (10/31/14)
Beth Graham
Interestingly, Judge Gilstrap stated representatives for the nation’s Department of Justice and the FHA may be involved in the mediation process due to the unique nature of the case.

Nick Redding
Conflict Expression: Moving from the ‘What’ to the ‘How’ in Assessing Conflict in the Workplace (10/31/14)
Nick Redding
In both research and practice, conflicts at work are often categorized based on what they are about: conflicts over the actual work that is being done (i.e. task), disagreements over how team members should work together (i.e. process), or conflicts resulting from personal differences (i.e. relationship).

Dan Simon
Transformative Mediation Program Helps Ohio Employees (10/31/14)
Dan Simon
Calls kept coming in to the Ohio Employees’ EAP program. Some calls came from a supervisor who was having trouble dealing with an employee. Some came from an employee who was having trouble with a supervisor. Sometimes it was co-workers who were in conflict with each other. Regardless of whom the conflict involved, the EAP was underequipped to help. They could counsel the caller, but the director of the EAP knew a different type of service was needed. So they sought outside expertise on workplace conflict intervention, and they put out a Request for Proposal.

Maria Simpson
Gender and Decision-Making (10/24/14)
Maria Simpson
Men and women are pretty much equally good decision-makers when under low stress levels, but “When stressed, men are more prone to taking risky bets with little payoff.”

Alyson Carrel
Is ADR Your 1st Career? (10/24/14)
Alyson Carrel
Mediation for many is a second field--after giving the first half of their professional career to the law, social work, therapy, real estate, business negotiations, and many other fields. This law focuses on the few who began their career in ADR--and how they managed to get started without another path to build on.

Giuseppe Leone
Body Language in Online Mediation - What Do We Miss? (10/24/14)
Giuseppe Leone
Leaving aside for a moment the question as to whether the "limited" body language in online dispute resolution is sufficient or not for doing our job, I believe that while for us mediators body language is a key factor, from the parties' perspective it is not the "only" factor. For them, there are other important factors to consider.

John Lande
To Puff or Not to Puff . . . (or When and How to Puff) (10/24/14)
John Lande
I’m no expert on moral philosophy or the social psychology of lying, but I think that most people probably believe that some misrepresentation is acceptable and even justified. Students in my Lawyering course regale the class with tales of their perfidy, sometimes with pride rather than shame.

Cinnie Noble
Expectations and Conflict (10/24/14)
Cinnie Noble
One of the things that can lead to conflict has to do with unmet expectations. For instance, we had hoped that another person would have said or done something that reflects their care and concern for us; they excluded us from a gathering or decision; they had something we wanted and knew it was important to us; or they didn’t provide their support or were unreliable about a matter.

Elizabeth Kantor
The Consolidation Arbitrator – An Arbitrator Too Far? (10/24/14)
Elizabeth Kantor
Whilst many institutional rules now contain provisions which expressly address the complex issue of consolidation, the recently revised rules of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (the “ICDR”), the international arm of the American Arbitration Association (the “AAA”), are the first to have introduced the novel concept of the “consolidation arbitrator”.

Richard Levie
Eight Tips on How to Impress Your Arbitrator (10/24/14)
Richard Levie
While the most successful way to impress your arbitrator is with the merits of your case, there are smaller, but important, ways to create a favorable impression of yourself and your client’s case. This article is one arbitrator’s guide to creating an arbitral environment favorable to you and your client.

Beth Graham
Federal Judge Orders Google Wallet Consumer Privacy Dispute to Mediation (10/24/14)
Beth Graham
A federal judge in California has reportedly ordered a consumer privacy dispute that was filed against technology giant Google to mediation.

Morna Ellis
Mediation - The Savvy Choice (10/21/14)
Morna Ellis
Elder mediation can be helpful for families trying to make difficult decisions. It helps children and parents make decisions that include everyone's opinions.

Meredith Richardson
Fall is a Time to Reap What You've Sown (10/21/14)
Meredith Richardson
Fall is in the air. The nights are cooler and longer. The apples at local farms are almost ready to be picked. If you've been taking care of yourself and your relationships, then spending time at home with your loved ones may be quite pleasant.

Jan Schau
The Trading Zone in Mediation of Employment Disputes (10/21/14)
Jan Schau
Sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle of a tug-of-war. This week I had the anomolous situation of having two nearly identical full day cases back to back. In the first, the Plaintiff started the demand at $1 million and Defense offered $30,000 (the equivalent to one year of salary). She was alleging age discrimination, though the Company had laid her off in a reduction in force and she was only 42. In the second, Plaintiff started the demand at $200,000.00.

Michael A. Zeytoonian
Lessons from Jerusalem, Part II: The trouble with false assumptions (10/21/14)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
I wanted to continue the theme from my last Blog post about the Sea of Galilee and the notion of “being a Galilee” a bit with this blog post. This article discusses what I learned over this trip and the trouble with false assumptions.

Phyllis Pollack
Mediation 101: Know What It Is That You Want! (10/21/14)
Phyllis Pollack
I had an interesting mediation the other day. I say "interesting" as I am not sure what other adjective to use. Like most of my mediations, it involved an automobile. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant, a used car dealer, misrepresented several important details in the financing of the used automobile that she was purchasing. As a result, she was suing.

Meredith Richardson
When Trust is Broken (10/13/14)
Meredith Richardson
Do you want to be right or do you want to be in relationship? This can be one of the hardest questions to answer.

Jan Frankel Schau
What I Learned from Sitting on the Other Side of the Table (10/13/14)
Jan Frankel Schau
Since 2003, when I quit litigating, I have never attended a mediation as a disputant–until last week. I was asked to help be a part of a mediation. Here are my observations from the other side of the table.

Joe Markowitz
Losing (10/13/14)
Joe Markowitz
Certainly there is no shortage of candidates for blame when you have lost something. Yet finding the right person to pin the blame for failure can't be the whole story.

Cinnie Noble
Walking on Eggshells (10/13/14)
Cinnie Noble
When applied to interpersonal conflict I think of those disconcerting situations – such as walking on eggshells – when I am reluctant to raise an issue expecting that by doing so I will overly upset the other person. It seems this is most likely to occur when I have a history with and am aware of her or his sensibilities. Though I expect it also happens when we don’t know the other person but reckon that what we have to say will be difficult to receive. In any case, the image itself – from whatever the source –conjures up an extremely uncomfortable experience.

Cynthia Alkon
Just Don’t Ask and Get Good Karma??!! (10/13/14)
Cynthia Alkon
As many are probably aware, Microsoft’s CEO recently said that women who don’t ask for raises will enjoy “good karma.” So, his negotiation advice seems to boil down to just don’t ask and you count on the universe rewarding you in this life (or the next).

Michael A. Zeytoonian
Lessons from Jerusalem: What Attitude Do We Bring to our Conflicts? (10/13/14)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
Strange as this might sound, I had the good fortune of being in Israel during a war, a declared cease fire and its aftermath, and experiencing how these impacted the people involved. While it was a source of some tension and heightened vigilance, it provided a rare opportunity to experience the shifts and changes that occur when a war stops and a cease fire is in effect, in this place that has been a historical hotbed for conflict.

Joe Markowitz
When to Fight (10/05/14)
Joe Markowitz
President Obama's speech to the United Nations this week is worth reading to study the evolution of the president's foreign policy views in response to new and continuing conflicts around the world. With respect to such crises as Russian aggression toward Ukraine, preventing a nuclear Iran, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the president reiterated his belief in finding cooperative, negotiated solutions.

Jennifer Shack
How to Mediate High-Conflict Cases: Balance and Control (10/05/14)
Jennifer Shack
Like a lot of ADR researchers, I’m always interested to know what really happens in the black box that is the mediation session. So, when someone pries the box open to look inside, my eyes light up. Researchers have begun using conversation analysis to uncover what happens in mediation that leads to successful outcomes. The latest contribution to this research comes from Norway, with a study of 154 custody mediations.

Cinnie Noble
I Hate When He . . . (10/04/14)
Cinnie Noble
Lately I have been hearing several of my friends complaining about their life partners. It seems it is more than usual, but maybe I am just more aware of their plaints these days for some reason. The gripes typically start with “I hate when he (or she)…” and the “odious” acts, as they perceive them, may be how the person answers the phone, eats, flosses, leaves laundry on the floor, makes puns, and on and on.

Jeff Thompson
Creating Spaces for Effective CVE Approaches (10/04/14)
Jeff Thompson
Have a look at the following. It reminds me firstly of Bernie Mayer's Beyond Neutrality- if we as conflict resolution professionals are seeking to make an impact in the world, perhaps we have to move beyond the neutral role of mediators (and other neutral roles).

Beth Graham
Amarillo COA Holds Arbitration is Required in Construction Fee Dispute (10/04/14)
Beth Graham
In January 2013, several of the subcontractors (“Scottco”) filed a lawsuit against Journeyman to recover payment for services rendered pursuant to their respective subcontracting agreements. Journeyman responded by filing a motion to abate the court proceedings and compel arbitration. After the district court denied Journeyman’s motion, the general contractor filed an interlocutory appeal with the Amarillo appeals court.

Jason Dykstra
Finding Success in Leadership (10/04/14)
Jason Dykstra
We asked a leader how anyone manages to stay engaged when they have to re-inspire leaders in a variety of different settings. The answer that they gave, seems to be the secret to success in every field, mediation and otherwise.

Phyllis Pollack
It Is All In The Attitude ! (10/04/14)
Phyllis Pollack
Once again, the New York Times has published an interesting article in its Sunday Review section on September 5, 2014 entitled "Liking Work Really Matters" by Paul A. O'Keefe. The thesis is that when we really enjoy what we are doing, we can do it for much longer than if we find it to be tedious. Our mental gas tank is nowhere as depleted when we are in the "in the zone" or in "flow": "During a flow state, people are fully absorbed and highly focused; they lose themselves in the activity." (Id.)4545

Cinnie Noble
My Way or the Highway (9/26/14)
Cinnie Noble
t has been a long time since I first heard the expression my way or the highway. Within the context I first heard it and ever since, I have interpreted it to mean that if someone doesn’t go along with the other’s view (position, want, need, etc.) she or he might as well just leave or go away.

Beth Graham
Dallas COA Affirms Arbitral Award Despite Evident Partiality Claims (9/26/14)
Beth Graham
The Fifth District Court of Appeals of Texas in Dallas has affirmed a trial court’s order confirming an arbitral award in a dispute between a residential builder and several homeowners. In Meritage Homes of Texas, L.L.C. v. Ruan, No. 05-13-00831-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas, September 16, 2014) a group of individuals who bought newly built homes from Meritage allegedly learned that their houses were smaller than the square footage that was represented to them prior to purchase.

Ian MacDuff
On Collaboration (9/26/14)
Ian MacDuff
Many companies and their executives have embraced the imperative of sustainability, but it’s that step into a collaborative approach that still seems too hard.

Joe Markowitz
When to Fight (9/26/14)
Joe Markowitz
President Obama's speech to the United Nations this week is worth reading to study the evolution of the president's foreign policy views in response to new and continuing conflicts around the world.

Tammy Lenski
You Don’t Have to Have This Experience with Conflict Resolution (9/26/14)
Tammy Lenski
I’ve finally found the way to describe my work with the help of an image.

Andrea Schneider
Prisoner’s Dilemma Game Show (9/19/14)
Andrea Schneider
In class earlier this week, we rebooted the idea of the prisoner’s dilemma as previously portrayed on The Bachelor Pad (discussed on the Freakonomics Blog and four years ago on this site). This time, the conversation revolved around a British game show called Golden Balls that was very popular several years ago. I can only assume that you’ve already discounted Golden Balls’ educational value based on its name alone but bear with me . . .

Cinnie Noble
Never Cut What You Can Untie (9/19/14)
Cinnie Noble
Recently on the Conflict Coaching Guild on LinkedIn I asked members if they would share idioms, phrases, metaphors and other expressions on conflict that they like. There are many I had not heard of and one of those is the title of today’s blog – never cut what you can untie.

Katherine Graham
How to Make Mediation Accessible to People who are Suspicious (9/19/14)
Katherine Graham
Mediation is not an easy option; it is far easier for humans to tolerate the status quo or seek someone else to fix things for them. Mediation must be the workplace equivalent of root canal work at the dentist.

Phyllis Pollack
Should Your Next Mediator Be An Avatar? (9/19/14)
Phyllis Pollack
Once again, The Economist has reported on an interesting study concerning artificial intelligence and psychology. In its August 16, 2014 edition, the authors of "The Computer will see you now" discuss a study in which the participants chatted with an avatar.

Beth Graham
New AAA Consumer Arbitration Rules are Now in Effect (9/19/14)
Beth Graham
On September 1st, new American Arbitration Association (AAA) Consumer Arbitration Rules went into effect. The 55 new rules reportedly replaced the eight Consumer-Related Disputes Supplementary Procedures that previously applied to consumer arbitrations filed with the organization. The new rules apply to all arbitral cases filed after September 1, 2014

Jeff Thompson
Creating Spaces for Effective CVE Approaches (9/19/14)
Jeff Thompson
Have a look at the following. It reminds me firstly of Bernie Mayer's Beyond Neutrality- if we as conflict resolution professionals are seeking to make an impact in the world, perhaps we have to move beyond the neutral role of mediators (and other neutral roles).

Kim Taylor
The ADR Provisions of EU Privacy Laws (9/19/14)
Kim Taylor
Companies doing business globally have a variety of complex issues to deal with, not the least of which is concern about the security of personal data collected from their customers.

Dan Simon
Lawyers Benefit from Transformative Mediation – Video (9/12/14)
Dan Simon
Why hasn’t transformative mediation swept the world of litigated disputes with represented parties? A new video reveals that there’s no good reason. While the transformative approach has succeeded in the US Postal Service workplace mediation program, and while some community mediation centers and family mediators have embraced it, the realm of civil litigation continues to be dominated by far more directive approaches.

Martin Quinn
Mediation Briefs: Do’s and Don’ts (9/12/14)
Martin Quinn
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts from a mediator’s perspective to help you prepare your mediation briefs. Treat the event with the importance it deserves, and start by preparing an effective, timely brief.

Susan Yates
What Did Labor Day Teach Us About ADR? (9/12/14)
Susan Yates
For a while in the evolution of the ADR field, when two neutrals met they would sometimes ask what the other’s “profession of origin” was. What they meant was, “what did you do before you were a mediator?” There were some unspoken questions packed in there, too. They wanted to know, are you a full-time neutral or are you really from some other profession and trying to break into this one?

Tammy Lenski
High Conflict Personality: Are you sure? (9/12/14)
Tammy Lenski
High conflict personality: Are you sure? chaotic neon "He's such a high conflict personality that I'm scared to disagree with him." "She's high conflict and I don't think any of these approaches will work with her." "How can we best deal with high conflict personalities in the workplace?" "I've been labeled 'high conflict' and I'm blamed for starting every argument."

Joe Markowitz
Truth, Justice, and Peace (9/12/14)
Joe Markowitz
One of the top reasons people advance for being reluctant to agree to a negotiated resolution of conflict is that they cannot abandon the quest for truth and justice. I just heard this feeling expressed recently in a mediation between two former business partners who each felt betrayed by the other.

Art Hinshaw
ADR as a First Career (9/05/14)
Art Hinshaw
There has been a lot of discussion on DR list serves about the next generation of ADR professionals, practitioners and academics. For recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in ADR, the advice they often receive is to first practice law or gain experience in another field before transitioning to ADR as a 2nd (or even 3rd) career. I assume this advice stems from the personal experience of those giving it – as this was the career path of ADR’s founding generation. But is this necessarily the narrative for our next generation?

Cinnie Noble
The Last Word (9/05/14)
Cinnie Noble
When we are in an interpersonal conflict we may find ourselves reacting when the other person tries to have or succeeds at getting the last word. Or, we may be the one who is trying or succeeds in doing so. According to one source, the definition of the phrase the last word includes: “the last thing said in an argument”; “information that everyone considers to be the best”; “the right to make a decision that everyone must obey”; and “the newest and best type of something”.

Vivian Scott
Preventing Conflict in the Workplace by Taking Time for Yourself (9/05/14)
Vivian Scott
I just got back from a holiday with my significant other and as I get ready to take a long weekend with family, I’m thinking about how fortunate I am this year to be taking so much time off. I realize not everyone has the same opportunity, so I thought I’d share some ways in which one can take a vacation at work without actually taking time off.

Beth Graham
Texas Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Construction Dispute Should be Arbitrated (9/05/14)
Beth Graham
The Supreme Court of Texas has agreed to review whether an arbitration clause applies to a construction dispute between a developer, a builder, an architectural firm, and others. In G.T. Leach Builders, L.L.C. v. Sapphire VP, LP, No. 13-0497, a condominium complex was destroyed by a hurricane while still under construction. Prior to the hurricane, the builder, G.T. Leach, apparently allowed its insurance coverage to lapse. As a result, the builder lacked sufficient funds to rebuild the condominium project or make the owner whole again. In response, the developer, Sapphire, filed a lawsuit for breach of contract and negligence in Cameron County against the builder.

Jeffrey Grubman
Employment Mediation Requires a Unique Touch (9/05/14)
Jeffrey Grubman
Although the fact patterns of employment cases vary considerably, there is always a common theme. The plaintiffs believe they have been mistreated by their employers, and the employers almost always deny the factual allegations.

Dan Simon
Law Professor Transformed (9/05/14)
Dan Simon
Professor Sherry Colb, who teaches criminal procedure and evidence at Cornell Law School, took a training in transformative mediation this spring and it blew her mind. You can read the full text of the article she wrote about it here. In her article Colb explains the fundamentally different assumptions that underly the legalistic paradigm as compared to the transformative paradigm. Here are a dozen of the insights that the training inspired in her:

Nick Redding
Do Unethical Leaders Foster Conflict Among Followers? (9/05/14)
Nick Redding
Recent events, such as the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, questionable accounting practices at Enron, and illegal hiring practices among Silicon Valley’s most prominent companies, are just a few among many examples of unethical organization leadership practices today.While the impact of unethical leadership practices on local communities is often times immeasurable, what is less well understood is the impact of this type of leadership inside the organization. Specifically, how does unethical leadership impact those individuals working under it?

John Sturrock
Getting to Yes…or No?! (9/02/14)
John Sturrock
On Thursday 4 September, Collaborative Scotland hosts a Day of Dialogue which will focus on respect and reconciliation in the lead up to, and after, the independence referendum in Scotland on 18 September. It is not about Yes and No but how we will live and work together regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

Jeff Thompson
Harvey Hostage Negotiator's Inside Look at Standoff (9/02/14)
Jeff Thompson
In an ABC7 exclusive, a key hostage negotiator gave Eyewitness News an inside look at how he and others helped bring that suburban standoff in Harvey to a peaceful end.

Jan Schau
Balancing Fairness with Justice (9/02/14)
Jan Schau
As an arbitrator (or a Judge) we have limits–on our outward demonstration of compassion, our creativity in crafting appropriate and fair remedies and our moral indignancy where wrongs occur without remedies. As poorly as we may feel about how someone was mis-treated, we are constrained to follow the letter of the law (even where it may be at odds with it’s “spirit”) and dole out remedies only where each element of a given cause of action has been proven by a preponderance of evidence together with actual, credible, available damages. Yet, life is messy.

Stephanie West Allen
Seven Challenges When Using the Neuroscience Lens to See the World (9/02/14)
Stephanie West Allen
Over the years, I have learned that people reading this blog come from a wide range of belief systems, including atheist, agnostic, and those involved to large or small degree in various spiritual and religious practices. Although this blog post to which I am linking today is written by a Christian and part of the post is from a Christian perspective, I think anyone can learn from this article.

Phyllis Pollack
Procrastination! (9/02/14)
Phyllis Pollack
In the last few weeks, I have published blogs about the way we think. That is, while we use System 1 throughout most of the day, it is intuitive, lazy, and emotional and does not always lead us down the correct path. In contrast, our System 2 is analytical, deliberate, slow, effortful and rational. It takes effort to use it, uses up energy, and being the lazy souls that we are, we tend to default to System 1 thinking as much as possible.

Joe Markowitz
Philosophy (9/02/14)
Joe Markowitz
We know that mediators sometimes need to act as an amateur psychologist, an amateur economist, an amateur diplomat, an amateur judge, or apply other kinds of expertise to help resolve conflict. That's what makes the practice of mediation so interesting. We might not have realized that mediators also need to act as amateur philosophers. This book provides great approaches to look at many of our clients' questions.

Tammy Lenski
The Essential (and often ignored) Ingredient for Conflict Resolution (9/02/14)
Tammy Lenski
The answer to your conflicts does not lie in yet another conflict resolution skills workshop to add to all that you’ve taken before (skills training may be worthwhile but there comes a point when more is not better).

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