Stay up to date on everything mediation!

Subscribe to our free newsletter,
"This Week in Mediation"

Sign Up Now

Already subscribed No subscription today
<xTITLE>Humor and Negotiations in ADR</xTITLE>

Humor and Negotiations in ADR

by John Barkai
November 2020 John Barkai

John Barkai has published a cartoon book with over 50 cartoons and 500 original captions on the topics of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. The materials come from a cartoon captioning contest he ran for over 14 years for the ABA’s Dispute Resolution Magazine. If you want a laugh, you can download a free copy at or purchase a hard copy on Amazon for less than $5 (sold at cost). He also welcomes you  to use the cartoons for your classes, trainings, and practice. At the link below you can download a PowerPoint slide pack with one slide for each cartoon.

Full cartoon book-no spaces between words

60 ADR slide pack – 50 plus cartoons – one per page


John Barkai

Humor in Negotiations & ADR: Cartoon Contest Caption Winners

from the ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine

by John Barkai. Less than $5 exclusively on Amazon

Link to the Amazon page -

This book contains over 500 “winning” captions for more than 50 cartoons used in cartoon captioning contests that were created and published from 1997 to 2011 in the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Magazine, a quarterly publication of the ABA’s Section on Dispute Resolution. I ran and was the editor of the cartoon captioning contest that appeared in that ABA magazine in a section called  “The Lighter Side.” This cartoon book is self-published and sold at cost (I am taking no profit) mainly to get the cartoons and captions into the hands of ADR teachers and trainers and to entertain anyone interested in a humorous look at dispute resolution. Many of the captions use specific ADR terms and jargon which you will never find attached to any other cartoons.

Words and phrases included in the captions in this book are:

negotiation, arbitration, mediation, caucus, ADR, Med-Arb, litigation, Getting To Yes, Separate the People from the Problem, positions, interests, BATNA, WATNA, CATNA, ODR, Getting Past No, Go to the Balcony, Myers Briggs Type Indicator-MBTI, New York Convention, UMA, (Uniform Mediation Act), , ABA ADR Section Conference, active listening, ADR class, ADR training, agreement, apologize, appeal, arbitrators - odd number of, Barkai chorus, BDR (Bottle DR), big picture, binding agreement, blow off steam, bone of contention, bottom line, Boulwarism, Bozo the clown, brainstorm, bury differences, choice of mediator, clown, collaborative, co-mediator, common goal/common ground, common interests, communication, compromise, concede, confidentiality, counteroffer, creative problem-solving, cross cultural, negotiating with the Japanese, default judgment, demands, discovery tools, distributional, divorce mediation, divorce, dual influences, emotion, ethical prohibition, evaluative, expand the pie, Exxon settlement, facilitative mediation, fees, feet to fire, final judgment, fishing expedition, full disclosure, gambits, gap, good faith, good-cop bad-cop tactic, ground rules, half-full, higher authority, hi-low agreement, Ho’oponopono, humor, icebreaker, immunity, impartial, impasse, informal, interest-based-negotiation, international arbitration, issue, Jan Ken Po, joint session, lawyer, pit bull, leverage, list of arbitrators, litigation risk, litigator/trial counsel , low-balling, make a good living, mandatory mediation, master's degree in conflict resolution, mediation - court ordered, mediation advocacy, mediation practice, mediation court ordered, mediator credentials, mediator selection, lawyer as mediator, meeting facilitation, meeting halfway, middle ground, mirroring, needs, negotiation class, neutral ground, neutrality, nonverbal communication, objective criteria, offer (final, first, first move, last), opening statement, over for dinner, panel of mediator, Pareto principle/Pareto frontier, perspective, Pepulator, point of view, positional bargaining, prevent conflict, problem solving, professional courtesy, professors, proposal, rapport, red herring, renegotiate, repeat player, revisit, ripe, risk, Riskin Grid, rock-paper-scissors, see you in court,  settlement, shuttle diplomacy, Solomon, split down the middle, split the baby, split the difference, stew things over, strategy, students, super optimal solution, systems perspective, tactics, tactics-bluffing, taught ADR, tenure, think outside the box, threat, time pressure, Tit-For-Tat, transformational mediation, transformative mediation, trust, tunnel vision, Vanishing trial, walk the talk, win-win, and zero sum.


Professor Barkai joined the faculty in 1978. Prior to coming to Hawai`i, he was a criminal trial lawyer in Detroit and a tenured faculty member at Wayne State University Law School. Professor Barkai also served previously as Associate Dean at the law school. He currently directs the clinical program and teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Evidence, and Prosecution Clinic. In addition, he teaches conflict resolution and international negotiations for the University of Hawai`i College of Business Administration.

Professor Barkai was chosen by the students and faculty as the Outstanding Professor of the year.

He is active in the legal community as President of the Board of Directors of the Neighborhood Justice (Mediation) Center, Chair of the ADR Section of the Hawai'i State Bar, and President of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i. In addition, Professor Barkai has served as a consultant to the Hawai`i Judiciary, the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia, the State Court of Kosrae, and the Minister of Justice for Papua New Guinea. In 1992-93 he was a Visiting Senior Scholar at the City University of Hong Kong and has taught ADR courses and workshops in Australia, Finland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Korea, and Micronesia.

Email Author
Author Website

Additional articles by John Barkai