Thanks to Jim Melamed of Mediate.com for the iphone photo taken Friday morning just before the frankly brilliant presentation by Linda C. Babcock and Sara Laschever, authors of the must-read Women Don't Ask, Negotiation and the Gender Divide (men who don't like to negotiate should snap this book up as well -- you can put one of those brown paper covers on it or slip it into the mid-section of Esquire on the plane).
I leave the conference early (darn! another engagement) having learned as much or more from casual conversation in the maze of exhibits as I did from the formal sessions.
Here's the deal -- no matter where we are in our ADR careers, the whole enterprise is so new that we are always in the process of mentoring one another.
Among new and old friends and mentors at the conference were:
The always charming and delightful discovery referee, mediatorr and arbitrator Judge Eli Chernow (Ret.) who is, I believe, the only man alive with not just one, not just two, but three count 'em THREE rabbi daughters.
Have I said thank you for your many kindnesses when I stopped hiring you and instead entered your field four years ago Judge? If not, I thank you now! It is always good to see Judge Chernow who I always remember swore my dad into the office of Court Commissioner long before I developed the chutzpah to consider law school, much less legal practice.
Book this man's services far in advance for any ADR purposes. He can do math (!!) and is otherwise one of the smartest, most level-headed and even-tempered neutrals in the neighborhood.
Jim Melamed -- Mr. Mediate.com -- is one of those visionaries who isn't content to milk his first vision, but is always off pushing the boundaries of some new uncharted area -- this time Online Dispute Resolution -- Instant Assist -- with a completely unique and exciting target market and business plan. Also take a look at Jim's ground-breaking article: Obama's Message - Mediation's Political Triumph here.
The Straus Institute people were there, of course, happily but modestly noting their signal achievement of being rated the No. 1 Dispute Resolution program in the country for the fourth consecutive year. It is thanks to Peter Robinson and Tom Stipanowich, as well as every other professor and adjunct at Straus, that I have the both mediation skills and marketing network necessary to the develoopment of a successful ADR practice. Together these two generate enough energy to justify the cessation of operations at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant!
Among the new faces was Attorney, Mediator and Arbitrator David T. Hunter, engineer and patent lawyer, who attended and contributed greatly to Judge Wagner's and my presentation on IP mediation. Welcome to the profession David!
I asked David to consider contributing a few guest posts to our IP ADR Blog and I'm looking forward to his unique contributions to the field.
I'm pleased to say I finally met Peter Adler, a man I've long admired from afar.
Peter is President and CEO of The Keystone Center and the author of Eye-of-the-Storm Leadership: 150 Ideas, Stories, Quotes and Exercises on the Art and Politics of Managing Human Conflicts (buy it here here now).
Think leadership leadership leadership leadership. Then contact Peter. Or simply buy and read his book!!
Also attending were bloggers Nancy Hudgins of the Civil Negotiations and Mediations Blog and Richard J. Webb of the Healthcare Neutral ADR blog -- the latter another fine effort by Kevin O'Keefe's team over at LexBlog.
I have many more stories to relate and people to mention but I must catch an early plane out of Seattle.
My best to everyone at the conference. I'm sure the next few days will be as good or better than the first two -- which were just dynamite!