Israel Reflections: Dinner with the Baraks
by Andrea Schneider
As followers of the blog know, one of the high points of our trip to Israel was dinner with Justice Aharon Barak and his wife Judge Elika Barak. We were also joined by their daughter, Tamar, who is a mediator. Interestingly from the dispute resolution perspective, Justice Barak was the judge who brought mediation to Israel through the Supreme Court, permitting cases to be referred to mediation. In this post, student Olga Kordonskaya reflects on the evening:
The Baraks were open and willing to discuss various topics, including dispute resolution and their professions. Justice Barak spoke about criticisms made of him and discussed them in various contexts to help us understand what role he saw for himself in the judiciary. Justice Barak, brought mediation to Israel and shared his opinions on mediation, its role in Israel and as a vehicle of dispute resolution. Judge Barak, with a different perspective as a labor judge, discussed the role of mediation in the labor courts, as well as her experience as a judge there, the challenges that the labor courts face. Their daughter talked about the challenges of being a full time mediator in a country where most mediators hold other jobs because there is not enough work, about her approach to mediation and value of different approaches. In this conversation we have had a chance to learn about dispute resolution, to better understand the court structure and the challenges that structure is posing, as well as potential solutions. We also considered what it means to bring a constitutional question in a country with no formal constitution. It was a pleasure being a guest in their home and having a chance to speak with people whose perspective on dispute resolution in general and alternative dispute resolution specifically comes from varies backgrounds. Additionally, it was humbling to have such access to a family that is so essential to the country’s dispute reolution development.
Before Andrea Kupfer Schneider even knew or understood the words negotiation or mediation, she figured a way to outsource her chores to her younger brother by paying him a part of her allowance. Not a new trick, but noteworthy that she hit upon the idea naturally. Such is the somewhat tainted beginnings of what would become a notable career as a professor and prolific writer in the disciplines of legal practice, deal making and conflict management. Only many years later, having obtained her A.B. degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs and Public Policy at Princeton University, and her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, and studying with Roger Fisher and others associated with the Negotiation Project, did her interest and passion for understanding how people deal with difficult issues and make decisions begin to gel. And afterwards, she enhanced the breadth of her perspective with study and a postgraduate Diploma from the Academy of European Law in Florence, Italy. She joined the faculty of Marquette University Law School in 1996, where she continues to teach ADR, Negotiation, Ethics, and International Conflict Resolution and is the Director of the nationally ranked Dispute Resolution Program.
Andrea’s writing reflects an integrated perspective of the importance of negotiation and mediation that is not bounded to one or a few particular disciplines. She is either an author, co-author, co-editor, or contributor to numerous books, texts and articles in the field of dispute resolution, including: the forthcoming Negotiation Essentials for Lawyers (ABA 2019) building on the two volume Negotiator’s Desk Reference and, earlier, The Negotiator's Fieldbook all with Christopher Honeyman; Negotiation: Processes For Problem-Solving and Mediation: Practice, Policy & Ethics, and Dispute Resolution: Beyond The Adversarial Model with Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Lela Love & Jean Sternlight; and co-author of two books with Roger Fisher, Beyond Machiavelli: Tools For Coping With Conflict and Coping With International Conflict. And beyond practice theory, strategies and techniques, she also explored the frequently overlooked presence of negotiative process in every part of our society; her book, Creating The Musee d’Orsay: The Politics of Culture in France, explores the place of negotiation and politics in art and architecture, and her most recent book, Smart & Savvy: Negotiation Strategies in Academia, written with her father David Kupfer, a researcher and emeritus professor of psychiatry, as the title suggests, explores the necessity for negotiation in an arena that is not easily or openly admitting of the need for such skills. Andrea has also published numerous articles on negotiation, ethics, pedagogy, gender and international conflict and currently serves as the co-chair of the editorial board of the ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine. She is a founding editor of Indisputably, the blog for ADR law faculty and the 2017 recipient of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work, among other awards. All of this is capped off with her 2016 TEDx talk entitled Women Don’t Negotiate and Other Similar Nonsense.
Her range and scope of interest in how negotiative work can be done more effectively not only in legal practice but in the surrounding politics and culture of our society makes her perspective all the more valuable.
Additional articles by Andrea Schneider