Featured Blogs Section

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Featured Blog Posts

Dan Simon

Death and Conflict are Part of Life

(10/23/15)Dan Simon In conflict, professionals often believe that containment, suppression and an efficient settlement are needed. That is, they try to make the conflict go away, just as physicians try to make disease go away. But single-minded focus on ending the conflict can have very unpleasant side effects, just like excessive medical treatment can.
Hannah Kaufman

Fresh Eyes and Bruce Springsteen

(10/23/15)Hannah Kaufman The feeling of settling in has clear value for those of us involved in mediation, but it poses risks as well.
Tammy Lenski

5 Common Beliefs About Conflict That are Dead Wrong

(10/23/15)Tammy Lenski I’ve heard the following five common beliefs about conflict repeatedly during my two decades as a mediator, coach, and conflict resolution teacher. All five miss the mark in important ways and we should stop repeating them.
Phyllis Pollack

A Further Update to Mediation Confidentiality in California

(10/17/15)Phyllis Pollack The California Law Commission rejected the use of a cooling off period after a settlement agreement is signed at mediation (such as is used in certain employment disputes) and also rejected the ability of the parties to unwind the agreement where misconduct is alleged. This article discusses additional updates to California mediation policy.
Joe Markowitz


(10/17/15)Joe Markowitz The Quartet's work (recently honored with the Noble Peace Prize) illustrates two techniques favored by mediators: (1) acceptance by all of the feuding factions of a set of ground rules, and (2) encouragement of continued dialogue among all of the affected parties to the conflict.
Art Hinshaw

Negotiating with the Dangerous and Highly Unstable

(10/16/15)Art Hinshaw To share the pain (uh, I mean joy), of negotiating with a toddler, here is the list of 8 characteristics of such negotiation encounters.
Beth Graham

Mandatory Arbitration in Consumer Finance and Investor Contracts

(10/16/15)Beth Graham Michael S. Barr, Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, has published “Mandatory Arbitration in Consumer Finance and Investor Contracts." In his article, Professor Barr argues that federal agencies should use their authority under the Dodd-Frank Act to restrict or eliminate the use of arbitration provisions in consumer finance and investment contracts.
Dan Simon

Bad Day at JAMS, Part 2

(10/16/15)Dan Simon For this mediation, I feared that everything I’ve heard from litigation-mediators about how they view things would manifest itself in a tedious, frustrating process. The last time I had participated in one of these mediations was as a lawyer in 1995. It was as bad as I feared.
Mediate.com ZZZZZ

Why Caseload Manager?

(10/15/15)Mediate.com Caseload Manager is the world's leading online case management system for mediation programs and practitioners. Here is a quick article and slide show explaining why.
Patricia Porter

Become a Virtual Judge or Have Your Case Settled on the Net

(10/12/15)Patricia Porter Brav is a new way for people of any age to find a solution to bullying, violence, and conflict. Find out why this is so important and join our guest, Remi Alli to learn how to settle family, school, and workplace disputes online.
Art Hinshaw

Negotiating with the Dangerous at Fordham Law School

(10/12/15)Art Hinshaw This dispatch comes from Jackie Nolan-Haley (Fordham) discussing Monday’s program Negotiating with the Dangerous.
Beth Graham

HR’s Role in Investigations Should Be Restricted, Finds Appeal Tribunal

(10/12/15)Beth Graham The Employment Appeal Tribunal has said that HR involvement with the investigating offier, hearing manager or deciding officer should not go beyond legal advice, and advice on matter of process and procedure.
Vivian Scott

Yes, it Does Matter What Others Think of You

(10/12/15)Vivian Scott If you’re on the Internet at all, you’ve probably seen those quotes floating around social media that are supposed to give you strength, inspire you, or simply provide a chuckle here and there. Some of them can be quite thought provoking; enough so that I often share them myself because I think they’re a quick way to remind us all to be our best, try our hardest, and to generally calm down while we focus on the good things in our lives.
Phyllis Pollack

The Upside of Anger

(10/12/15)Phyllis Pollack In most disputes, when people get angry- it is a bad sign! It usually means that the dispute will NOT get resolved, and that one or the other party will leave in a huff. Indeed, neuroscience teaches us that when the emotional side of our brain (right brain) is operating in full force, there is absolutely no way that we can think deliberately or rationally (?). Our left brain is being overpowered by right brain.
Andrea Schneider

Our Peacebuilding Pope

(10/02/15)Andrea Schneider The Pope, a rabbi and an imam…sounds like the beginning of a very funny joke but last week was a reality. elliot pope As you likely know, last Friday the Pope hosted an interfaith prayer gathering at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. This was trailblazing and I’ve linked to the video here for those you who have not yet seen it.
Katherine Graham

HR’s Role in Investigations Should Be Restricted

(10/02/15)Katherine Graham The Employment Appeal Tribunal has said that HR involvement with the investigating offier, hearing manager or deciding officer should not go beyond legal advice, and advice on matter of process and procedure.
Beth Graham

Dispute Must be Arbitrated Under FINRA Despite AAA Agreement

(10/02/15)Beth Graham Texas’ Fifth District Court of Appeals has ruled that a dispute between a licensed securities broker and an investment company must be arbitrated before FINRA rather than the AAA. In Morford v. Esposito Securities, LLC, No. 05-14-01223-CV (Tex. App – Dallas, September 18, 2015), a securities broker and Financial Industry National Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) member, Esposito, provided a group of customers, Nemaha Water Services, with assistance in locating investors. In exchange for his help, Nemaha agreed to pay Esposito five percent of any funds the company received as a result. As part of the transaction, the parties signed a letter agreement which stated any future disputes would be resolved through arbitration before the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”).
Dan Simon

Bad Day at JAMS, Part 1

(10/02/15)Dan Simon An old friend (I’ll call him Frank) called to tell me he was being sued by a former employer (I’ll call him Owen) for improperly taking customers and trade secrets. I warned Frank that mediations conducted by retired judges often feel silly, meaningless and frustrating to litigants, and that they achieve, best case scenario, a settlement that both sides are unhappy with.
Jennifer Shack

What is Court ADR? Clearing Up Some Misconceptions

(10/02/15)Jennifer Shack How can you make good decisions if the information you have is limited or wrong? That’s the question that drove me to the fields of research and program evaluation – good policy and effective programs are passions of mine, and there’s no way to have either without accurate, reliable information. It’s also the question that ran through my head as I read the article, “To Mediate in Court or out of Court, that is the Question” in Financier Worldwide. In the article, the author distinguishes between court and private mediation in a way that is not consistent with the wide variety of court and private mediation that exists in the United States. The article provides a good example of the misconceptions I often see in articles about mediation, misconceptions that can lead to poor decisions about the use of mediation.
Phyllis Pollack

Stop and Think … Before Suing!

(10/02/15)Phyllis Pollack Californians have a reputation for being litigious; for making mountains out of mole hills. Judge Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals minces no words on this point. A very small “tiff” got very much out of hand apparently because neither party had the courage (or common sense?) to admit the error and/or apologize.
Jeff Thompson

Police Negotiators Who Helped Rock Hill Woman in Bell Tower: Peaceful Resolution is Bottom Line

(9/25/15)Jeff Thompson Almost invisible the afternoon of Sept. 2 in downtown Rock Hill, a team worked to bring a woman threatening suicide from the bell tower of Rock Hill’s First Presbyterian Church.
Herbert Smith

European Commission publishes Draft Establishment of an International Investment Court

(9/25/15)Herbert Smith The Commission proposes the establishment of a new court system to resolve disputes under the TTIP, to be comprised of a Tribunal of First Instance (to be called the “Investment Tribunal”) and an Appeal Tribunal.
Dick Price

Being Creative with Child Support

(9/25/15)Dick Price Using the Collaborative Law process, we feel impelled to be creative with solutions, even where there are standard guidelines in the Texas Family Code for such things as how to set child support. In most litigation cases, the child support amount is quickly set by following the standard formula. The Code deals with the amounts of income and the number of children before the Court, as well as considering if there are other children that need to be supported.
Tammy Lenski

Do You Fall Prey to the Einstellung Effect in Problem Solving?

(9/25/15)Tammy Lenski The Einstellung effect is a type of cognitive trap that prevents us from seeing better solutions to problems we want to solve and conflicts we want to resolve. Here's how it traps us and ways to mitigate its effects.
Beth Graham

Ride Sharing Arbitration Agreement is Socially Unconscionable

(9/25/15)Beth Graham A California judge has reportedly declined to order a dispute between transportation network company Uber and a former driver to arbitration. In the case, a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled that the arbitration clause between the parties was “substantively unconscionable” due to its contradictory language.
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