Facilitation Articles

Facilitation Articles

Divorce Mediation Sessions: What Goes on Behind Closed Doors (9/26/14)
Cris Pastore
If you are considering using divorce mediation as the option for your separation or divorce, you might find it helpful to understand what is actually discussed in the mediation room.

Defining Mediation: Voluntary Assisted Negotiation (9/26/14)
Randy Drew
Mediators have historically resisted defining mediation, because mediation can be necessarily amorphic and definitions can be dangerous. However, the world is defining mediation with or without us. Therefore, it is time for us to weigh in on the question: What is mediation?

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.

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.

The Ups and Downs of ADR Policymaking (9/26/14)
Mary Novak
This is the story of how a law intended to increase mediation use led to a dramatic drop-off in mediation and what was done to try to fix the error.

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.

Models for Use of Mediation in e-Discovery (9/19/14)
Steven Bennett
Many commentators and courts suggest that cooperative approaches to e-discovery planning hold the key to lower-cost, higher-quality e-discovery processes. Yet, admonitions to cooperate hardly suffice to motivate self-interested parties. Some system to foster cooperation, beyond the parties themselves, appears essential. One system proposed as a means to promote e-discovery cooperation involves use of mediation. This article outlines an array of mediation techniques that could be used for that purpose.

Is Mediating Prenups a Form of Marital Mediation? (9/19/14)
Laurie Israel
I have been noticing a trend in my practice lately: the first draft of prenuptial agreements generally sketched out a marriage with no guaranteed financial interplay.

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.

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

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).

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.

The Mediator's Log: A Mediation Story (9/12/14)
John Sturrock
What happens when you are a mediator and you start another mediation day? We have printed below the details of a mediator's typical morning. The sequel will be printed shortly. Read on as the story unfolds....

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.

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?

Duologue: Inattentive Conversing (9/12/14)
Phyllis Pollack
Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris discuss the notion of Inattentional Blindness or how when we are looking at a scene, we may become so focused on one particular aspect of what we are viewing that we miss the other objects or stimuli that are in plain sight. "Inattentional Blindness occurs where attention to one thing causes us to miss what to others may seem to be blindingly obvious. We have a limited ability to focus and attention in one area can distract us from another area."

Shhhh! The Big Risk Associated With Mediation Confidentiality Nobody Talks About (9/05/14)
Rachel Ehrlich
In complex civil disputes it is not uncommon for information to be provided through mediation and that information is often subject to mediation confidentiality. When related disputes (contractual indemnity, insurance carrier contribution, insurance coverage and bad faith, and reinsurance) arise, mediation confidentiality prohibits using the information relied upon as evidence in the related matter.

6 Major Mistakes to Avoid in a Do-It-Yourself Divorce (9/05/14)
Cris Pastore
Although spouses claim to have everything worked out, they almost always fail to consider some very important details. Read this article and learn the 6 common mistakes to avoid when attempting to resolve your own divorce.

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?

What’s a ‘Successful’ Mediation? (9/05/14)
Katherine Graham
Mediation is commonly measured in terms of settlement rate (i.e. did the parties agree?) and you’ll see figures like ’80% settlement rate’ bandied about. In our view this is not the only measure of success. There are many more! Think about which measures matter to you – the parties, the mediators, and your organisation.

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.

Rethinking Negotiation Strategy (9/02/14)
Dale Ordas
Too frequently, negotiations are fruitless due to inadequate preparation. Rethinking Negotiation Strategy sets forth critical areas that should be part of the preparation for negotiation. In each segment there are references, which provide for a more in depth exploration of these indispensable tools for the successful negotiator.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

The Good and Bad of Conflict (8/22/14)
Ken Johnson
As conflict professionals, we should strive to understand the subject of conflict in all its various forms. However, the large majority of the industry only desires to resolve conflict. Indeed, conflict can be beneficial (anabolic) or destructive (catabolic). Knowing the difference can give businesses and other organizations a catalystic edge to take them to the next level.

Be Sure To Get Some Sleep ! (8/22/14)
Phyllis Pollack
Once again, another study has connected sleep deprivation with cognitive function. And, it provides some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that if a party witnesses an event while sleep deprived, and then is asked later to recall the event while still sleep deprived, she will recall it inaccurately; that is, she will have a false memory of it.

When the Mediators Pay the Highest Price (8/22/14)
Martin Svatos
Recent development in the Near East reminds how long and disastrous the Arabic-Israeli conflict is. Unfortunately, it has already claimed thousands of victims and every one of these tragedies could narrate a specific and sad story. One among them is especially important to be commemorated since it recounts a life and work of the first UN mediator who had saved thousands of prisoners in the Second World War and who was later killed carrying out his duties.

Hat Trick: NHL Adds Arbitration Clause (8/22/14)
Jill Gross
Little did I know that I was on NHL.com’s email list. I guess having a son wild about all things hockey must have had something to do with it. So you can imagine my surprise on Saturday morning when I woke up to an email from NHL.com informing me of the new arbitration clause it was adding.

Managing Construction Conflict: Unfinished Revolution, Continuing Evolution (8/22/14)
Renee Kolar
Thomas J. Stipanowich, Academic Director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution, and Professor of Law at the Pepperdine University School of Law just completed yet another article for a special issue of The Construction Lawyer titled: Managing Construction Conflict: Unfinished Revolution, Continuing Evolution; Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014/22.

Marching Together (8/22/14)
Joe Markowitz
What a remarkable turnaround we witnessed today in Ferguson, Missouri, where five days of protests in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown this past weekend, had been met with police armed to the teeth with military weapons and tactics. But when Governor Nixon finally decided to replace the local police force with state highway patrol officers, the situation changed almost immediately. Today the new representatives of law enforcement started marching with the protesters, and a much different atmosphere returned to the streets.

La Mediacion en Costa Rica y el Papel del Mediador (8/15/14)
Rolando Perlaza Perez
La mediación es un método de Resolución Alterna de Conflictos (RAC) de naturaleza auto-compositiva que busca solucionar las diferencias a través del dialogo. En ese sentido, es un método en el cual un tercero imparcial, llamado mediador, interviene en un conflicto entre dos o más personas a solicitud y con la anuencia de las mismas, con el fin de ayudarles en la búsqueda de soluciones pacíficas, cooperativas y mutuamente satisfactorias.

Online Dispute Resolution Conference Videos (8/12/14)
Alberto Elisavetsky
An International Conference on Online Dispute Resolution, ODR2014, brought together the technology and dispute resolution communities, legal practitioners, mediators and other ADR professionals, academic researchers, financial institutions, ecommerce companies and social media companies, members of judiciaries worldwide, and social justice advocates using innovative technologies to leverage change. ODR2014 is the thirteenth ODR Forum and the first to be held in the United States. This article is a recording of one of the speakers, Dr. Alberto Elisavetsky.

Shooting Yourself in the Foot (8/08/14)
Don Cripe
One of the earliest “learned professions” in the Western world is the law.  A reading of ancient history from the earliest beginnings of Western civilization will reveal allusions to lawyers.  Popes, kings and feudal governments in medieval Europe relied heavily upon lawyers to guide them.  Yet, from early days and primarily because of the educational and status advantages lawyers held over most of society, the profession has suffered from poor public opinion and criticism; literature and in popular culture with the onset of the “lawyer joke.”

On What Level Are We Mediating? (8/08/14)
Oran Kaufman
How do you define success in mediation? The answer depends in part on who is asking the question? Success for the parties may be different than success for the mediator or success for the court. This article explores the question of how to define success in mediation from a variety of angles including what does success mean for the mediation profession?

Compensation for a Dismissed Arbitrator? (8/08/14)
Gunther Horvath
The Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) confirmed that an arbitrator who is dismissed during the arbitration by a state court because of conflict of interest before the award is rendered may recover compensation for (useful) services rendered until dismissal.

Remembering to See the Wood for the Trees – A Mediator’s Reality Check (8/08/14)
Sabine Walsh
“When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you.” (Nietzsche) Relationship breakdown and the resulting fall-out is an abyss most people do not like to look into, even as they tumble into it. As family mediators, our job is to accompany and support people’s navigation into, through and, hopefully, out of the abyss again.

Time Lord Mediators (8/08/14)
Clare Fowler
As a culture, we really like there to be a bad guy, a reason why things went south, a scapegoat, someone who started it, leaving us feeling pretty clear and blameless and dang good about ourselves. But what if . . . shudder to even say it . . . we are all a little good and even (deep breath) a little bad?

Beware of Ultimatums When Negotiating (8/01/14)
John Sturrock
Good negotiation involves lots of client moves, client satisfaction, flexible negotiators, . . . and few ultimatums. Remember these tips in order to get the best agreement for your client.

Do Your Surrounding Systems Support Your Inner Self? (8/01/14)
Ralph Kilmann
Are your surrounding systems separate from your inner self? I would like to address the observation that we typically define our sense of self as being separate from our surrounding systems. So I ponder: What are the consequences of keeping our sense of self (some integration of ego, soul, and self-worth) separate from our surrounding systems?

From Practice to Research: When Peacebuilding Fails: The Limits of the Liberal Peace (8/01/14)
Kyong Mazzaro
Since the ratification of the United Nations Charter in 1945 and the deployment of numerous peacekeeping missions, one could conclude that peacebuilding is a difficult concept to grasp. It involves many actors and activities, including the demobilization of troops and the provision of humanitarian assistance, at different levels, from the community to the region. However, there seems to be a common thread in how the UN conceptualizes and implements peacebuilding around the world: an emphasis on the importance of economic liberalization and democratization to achieve peace.

What the Supreme Court of India Got Right and What it Got Wrong (8/01/14)
Niyata Samir Ghandi
The Kluwer Arbitration Blog published an outsider’s perspective on the decision of the Supreme Court of India which has been applauded by international practitioners around the world since it curbed the jurisdiction of Indian courts over an arbitration agreement supplementing the pro-arbitration jurisprudence coming from the SCI over the last two years. The writer has commented not only as an outsider but also and more particularly as a Civil Lawyer, proposing an excellent alterative to the court’s approach. However, it may be necessary to have an insider’s perspective on the judgment.

Vengeance Shall Never Be Yours! (8/01/14)
Phyllis Pollack
In a recent post, I discussed that the best way to calm someone down is to address the emotion and not the words. I learned this in a training session with Douglas E. Noll. However, I did not explain the theory behind this strategy.

Using Diplomacy in Negotiation (8/01/14)
Jan Frankel Schau
n my humble opinion, neither missiles nor trials are effective at getting the message across to an unwilling, unreceptive party. Instead, we should choose our negotiating partners wisely by picking the person whom we most trust to carry the message of our people or our cause with the most respect, tact, and reserve, but forcefully and convincingly.

Which System Is In Control? (7/26/14)
Phyllis Pollack
In his bestselling book, Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2011) notes that our brains contain two systems of thought: System 1 which "... operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control" (Id. at 20) and System 2 which "...allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations...." (Id. at 21.)

Prisoners (Spoilers!) (7/26/14)
Joe Markowitz
In the first episode of the second season of Orange is the New Black, the series presents a variation on the prisoner's dilemma problem that is often discussed in mediation programs and texts.

Facebook’s Templates for Conflict Resolution and Court ADR (7/26/14)
Mary Novak
Facebook recently announced its creation of a self-guided dispute resolution system for users. The company has designed a new user-to-user conflict resolution system that could have implications for court ADR systems as well. As in the courts, Facebook must process a large number of conflicts. While the company manages reports of issues such as threats and graphic violence, they wanted to provide users with tools to handle insults and embarrassing photos on their own. The company worked with a team from Yale to research users’ needs and design a large-scale conflict resolution system.

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