Facilitation Articles

Facilitation Articles




The Future of Mediation (3/26/15)
Chris Poole
It is impossible to talk about the future, present or past of mediation without putting some sort of definition to that term. Clearly, mediation as dispute resolution has been around as long as disputes. When defined as a process that involves a designated third-party to assist in the resolution of disputes, mediation can be considered an old process.


Become a World Class Negotiator (3/21/15)
Victoria Pynchon
It's not rocket science and it's not a secondary sexual characteristic. You don't "negotiate like a man" or "like a woman." You read, you practice, you fail, you succeed, you learn.


Texas Legislature Considers Measure that Would Require Out-of-Network Emergency Room Providers to Arbitrate Payment Claims (3/21/15)
Beth Graham
A bill seeking to establish an arbitration process designed to protect patients who are treated by an out-of-network provider during an emergency room visit from being hit with hefty medical charges is currently before the Texas Legislature. House Bill 1638, “Relating to nonpreferred provider claims under a preferred provider benefit plan related to emergency care,” was introduced by Representative Smithee and filed on February 19, 2015. An accompanying proposal was introduced in the Texas Senate on March 12th by Senator Taylor of Galveston.


Conflict Transformation in TV and Movies (3/21/15)
Dan Simon
My wife and I started using movie and TV clips in mediation training after participating in a workshop facilitated by Baruch Bush and Joe Folger called Rethinking Conflict in 2008. We were so inspired by this teaching and learning tool that we picked up the ball and ran with it.


The Managed Mediation of a Payor-Provider Health Care Dispute (3/21/15)
Viggo Boserup
Typically, more than 95 percent of mediations are initiated by one or two parties who agreed on a mediator, scheduled the mediation, filed a brief and showed up at the mediation session. The mediation session is often the first time the parties discuss the issues with the mediator or each other.


Where Have All The Idealists Gone? Long Time Passing (3/21/15)
Jeffrey Krivis
A recent discussion among a seasoned group of neutrals about the struggles of the professional mediator caught my eye. Some complained that the trend in litigated cases was to reduce the value of the mediator to a commodity, due to the constraints put on them by the litigants who were not process oriented.


How Can You Get a Piece of the Action? (3/13/15)
John Lande
There is a significant problem with the traditional negotiation paradigm of two coherent models, positional and interest-based negotiation (or other labels for essentially the same models). This paradigm has been helpful in moving us forward in recent decades. But simply saying that something was a interest-based or positional negotiation not only doesn’t convey things clearly, but it actually can be misleading.


Blurred Lines: Non-attorneys Representing Parties in Arbitration (3/13/15)
Sarah Cole
As an arbitrator and teacher of arbitration, I’ve noticed that legal issues are more frequently the focus in arbitration proceedings, both non-labor and labor. I have watched non-lawyer representatives struggle to make legal arguments (although, in fairness, sometimes that is true of lawyers as well). To ensure adequate representation of parties in arbitration involving legal issues, I believe that the parties should be represented by counsel, and that failure to have counsel (rather than non-lawyer representatives) in such proceedings may well be the unauthorized practice of law.


Personal Insight into how to Engage with Someone with a Hidden Disability (3/13/15)
Katherine Graham
Disability. Is it my new dirty word? Dis-abled? Less able? Less competent? Can’t do the same as everybody else? It’s a scary word. Both for the person labelled as disabled and for those working around them. The whole disabled vocabulary is fraught.


8 Habits of a Conflict Resolver (3/13/15)
Vivian Scott
Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard someone say, “I don’t do conflict.” It’s the type of statement that can be mindboggling because, really, we all do conflict. Whether small and fleeting or the only thing you can think about for months, we are all in some way or another doing conflict every day.


Access to Mediation: Future Mediators (3/12/15)
Ian MacDuff
Much of the focus of the previous papers in this fascinating series on the future of mediation have, understandably, been on just that topic - that is, what will, or should, mediation look like. The questions asked have been both exercises in reflection on where we’ve been (after all, the best way to anticipate the future is to understand the past), on the coherence or not of the profession, the risk of our having been distracted from the core values and value of mediation, and - in the end - questions about what mediation really is and what we as mediators really do.


Transforming the Adversarial Ethic (3/06/15)
Louise Phipps Senft
This article describes the differences between transformative mediation and directive mediation and posits that transformative mediation, which assists people with quality dialogue helping them to engage in meaningful explorations of the situation and possible solutions, whether they agree or not, is exactly what corporate counsel and litigators could embrace.


It's Never Just About Money (3/06/15)
Elliot Platt
This article describes the mediation process and the approach of a good mediator. It is intended to encourage litigators to utilize mediation.


SEC Approves FINRA Proposal to Further Revise Definition of Public and Non-Public Arbitrator (3/06/15)
Jill Gross
The SEC approved FINRA’s proposal to ” refine and reorganize the definitions of ‘non-public’ arbitrator and ‘public’ arbitrator.” Customers who file an arbitration claim against a broker dealer or associated person now has the right to an all-public arbitration panel, so the definitions of who fits the two classifications are high stakes.


Amarillo COA Overturns Order Holding Arbitration Provision is Unconscionable in Cotton Marketing Pool Dispute (3/06/15)
Beth Graham
Texas’ Seventh District Court of Appeals in Amarillo has overturned a Cochran County court’s order refusing to compel a cotton-marketing dispute to arbitration. In Ecom USA, Inc. v. Clark, No. 07-14-00240-CV (February 25, 2015), a group of cotton farmers agreed to deliver any crops grown in 2010 and 2011 to a marketing pool that was owned and administered by Ecom USA, Inc.


How Do Blind Spots Affect Conflict? (3/06/15)
Meredith Richardson
We all have blind spots. There are things we intentionally ignore and things that we unintentionally ignore. How do those blind spots impact our reaction to conflict?


Back to the Future of Mediation (3/05/15)
Merri L. Hanson
For some reason, beyond my understanding, the decades old debate continues. How should mediation be defined? The better question is, “How can the practice be applied?” And herein is the genesis of the divergent paths upon which mediation has developed in the last thirty years.


Where Does Marital Mediation Fit In? (3/02/15)
Laurie Israel
During the past quarter century, academics and others writing about mediation have characterized styles of mediation as belonging to one of three categories: “facilitative,” “evaluative,” and “transformative”. The categories are quite clearly defined.


Musings on Mediators, Pizza-Makers, and Humanity (3/02/15)
Henry Brown
I began this article on the future of mediation practice at what I thought, reasonably enough, was the beginning. Discussing how I came to New York in 1985 to train with John Haynes on a new approach to managing disputes that at that time had not yet found its way to the United Kingdom where I practised as a solicitor. However, In the course of writing and reviewing this piece, it began to dawn on me that while the trip was my conscious recollection of the beginning, it was not the actual beginning of my attraction, engagement and investment in what has become a personally and professionally fulfilling career.


Mediation and the Black Belt Lawyer (3/01/15)
Andrea Maia, Juliana Loss de Andrade
The symbolism of the term ‘’black belt’’ may lead us in the first place to its meaning in the martial arts field, especially when you had your childhood influenced by the lessons from Mr. Miyagi and Daniel San’s hard path in Karate Kid. Comparatively, but differently from the Karate world, our corporate environment also has “black belts” who rely on knowledge, discipline and wisdom.


5 Tips to Prepare for Mediation (3/01/15)
Stacy Roberts
Utah mediator Stacy Roberts shares tips on how to prepare for the best possible mediation experience.


La Tercera Ola de los Mecanismos Alternativos de Solucion de Conflictos (3/01/15)
Rafael Gonzalo Medina Rospigliosi
Los Mecanismos Alternativos de Solución de Conflictos con su sigla MASC, engloban a un conjunto de procedimientos solucionadores de conflictos humanos, de manera autocompositiva, heterocompositiva o hibrida, sin utilizar la fuerza y ejecutados fuera del proceso judicial, es decir, con los MASC se crea soluciones no jurisdiccionales e inteligentes, caracterizados por ser no confrontacional, cooperativos, de autogestión y de protagonismo ciudadano, siendo incorporados el último decenio del siglo pasado, en los sistemas de justicia, en casi toda América Latina.


Be Less Certain—and More Flexible (2/27/15)
Bernard Mayer
The challenge we face is how to be adaptable but still focused and effective. To meet this challenge, we need to remain clear about our fundamental purpose, to keep working on refining our skills and enhancing the range of approaches we can take to achieving those purposes, to commit to diversifying our field, and to maintain a clear hold on our values and ethical principles.


Revolution Calling (2/27/15)
John Licciardello
The Need For Increased Coordination Among Divorce Professionals: The divorce experience starts early...perhaps in the therapists office and the Wednesday reading group where the decision is made...quietly... to move on. And once the papers are signed there are months of recovery, both financial and psychological, until a sense of "normal" is achieved. The whole process can take several years from start to finish, and involves a host of professionals. So it is no small surprise that the outcomes are varied and often poor.


Do We Need a New York Convention for Mediation/Conciliation? (2/27/15)
Lorraine Brennan
The 1958 United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention) is viewed by many as one of the most (if not the most) successful commercial treaties to which the United States has become a party.


Changing the Architecture of Justice: ODR, Dispute Resolution, and Design (2/27/15)
Ian MacDuff
In his 1956 text, The Queen’s Courts, Sir Peter Archer suggested that the development of the Courts was more organic than by design, and – though he doesn’t say as much – more pragmatic than principled. He calls on Topsy’s response to Ophelia in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, to suggest that, like Topsy, they “just grow’d”.


Our Narratives Reflect Who We Are (2/27/15)
Tammy Lenski
Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, a single whale calls out again and again and again. Whale 52, as he’s known, has never been seen by humans. But he has been heard. For years. His call has been recorded and it’s in a frequency that matches no other whale species.


Mediation Confidentiality in California (2/27/15)
Joe Markowitz
Many mediators are troubled by the Milhouse case currently pending in the Ninth Circuit, which recognized a vaguely-defined "due process" exception to mediation confidentiality to allow evidence of offers and demands exchanged in an unsuccessful mediation to be introduced in an insurance bad faith case. In addition, the California Law Revision Commission is currently considering whether to allow an exception to mediation confidentiality in attorney malpractice cases.


Time Traveling (2/25/15)
Jan Frankel Schau
Litigation and mediation need to change in the future. People have new expectations about interacting with professionals, and the wise mediator will make note of these changes and incorporate these new trends in their practice.


Rebooting Mediation by Detaching from the Illusions of Neutrality, Just Outcomes, and Balanced Power (2/23/15)
Greg Rooney
I would submit that the next quantum leap for the theory and practice of mediation is to detach from the concept of neutrality as a core element of mediation practice. I propose to reboot the profession of mediation by championing the proposition that mediators are not neutrals. That they bring their own personal history and professional expertise to the process of assisting parties who are in dispute.


Branding the Industry of Mediation (2/20/15)
Leslie Short
We were all trained to be aware of “what's in our bags” or to phrase it differently, what each person brings to the table. Then we’re told you must not bring anything to the table but the ability to listen and ask open-ended questions.


The Mediation Future (2/20/15)
Tracy Allen
So long as market users , i.e. the true decision makers, remain dependent on their legal counsel to select, direct and control the mediation/negotiation process, there is likely to be little advancement in public education about the importance and availability of mediation.


The Art of Conversation and The Future of Mediation (2/20/15)
Katherine Triantafillou
Although I am pretty good at envisioning the future, I don’t really have any grandiose images of the future of mediation. Rather, I have some cautionary tales and a few suggestions for how we might impact the future and avoid the pitfalls of insularity.


Learning From Mediation (2/20/15)
Joe Markowitz
It seems a shame that the natural tendency of parties and their attorneys is to analyze the issue in legal terms and threaten to go back to court for resolution.


Mediation Program Outreach: Reflecting on What Works (2/20/15)
Shawn Davis
RSI started running three foreclosure mediation programs in 2014, which means we’ve spent a lot of time over the last year thinking about how to make mediation services more accessible and increase program usage rates. Such issues can be a challenge and often require creativity, especially with limited resources. Here’s what we’ve learned.


Make the Most of Your Mediation: Seal the Deal (2/20/15)
Lynn Duryee
It sometimes happens that, despite the best efforts of all participants, negotiations grind to a stubborn halt and disappointment sets in. Before packing your bags, ask yourself these five questions.


Federal Judge Orders Sugar Land Nursing Home Visitation Dispute to Mediation (2/20/15)
Beth Graham
A Sugar Land nursing home dispute that arose after an elderly resident’s family was banned from a long-term care facility over a number of social media posts has reportedly been ordered to mediation. According to a complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas, Silverado Senior Living barred a woman’s two sons and daughter-in-law from the premises after the individuals refused to remove several photos and videos of their mother at the facility from their social media accounts.


Court ADR Trends for 2015 (2/17/15)
Mary Novak
Last year perhaps the most visible trend in court ADR was the courts’ use of mediation to address truly large-scale crises. From the mediators who helped opposing groups reach the Grand Bargain that led Detroit out of bankruptcy, to the mediations being used to address thousands of insurance claims that remain from Hurricane Sandy, courts essentially created ad-hoc ADR programs to respond to major crises.


Philosophy of Mediation (2/13/15)
Zeno Daniel Sustac
When we speak about the philosophy of mediation we inherently have to relate to the philosophy of law and the philosophy of conflict. The philosophy of mediation is a present-day subject and of interest among the specialists in the Alternative Dispute Resolution field.


Mandatory Mediation: A Comparative Review of How Legislatures in California and Ontario are Mandating the Peacemaking Process In Their Adversarial Systems (2/13/15)
Jennifer Winestone
This article examines the evolution of two mandatory mediation programs in the state of California and the province of Ontario, how they differ, and the lessons we can take from each program's successes and failures.


We Need a Better Consensus About Negotiation Theory (2/13/15)
John Lande
In previous posts, I argued that there are serious problems with the general consensus on negotiation theory reflected most clearly in Getting to Yes. I described problems with the system of negotiation models, which assumes that most or all negotiations can fit into two models of highly-correlated variables (or a few variations of these models).


Why I Said “HR Should Be Ashamed of Itself” (2/13/15)
Katherine Graham
It’s no secret that I can be spikey – and I sometimes rue the things I say after I’ve said them. And, believe me, I do understand why HR Directors need to be at the Board Room table, because without that influence your job is all the more difficult.


When Your Boss Won’t Change (2/13/15)
Vivian Scott
Who doesn’t have a list of things they’d like their manager to do differently? Everything from the way he slurps that first cup of coffee in the morning to how he plays his staff against one another is a frustration. Though it’s possible to make adjustments in any working relationship, there are still going to be some things that don’t change; no matter your efforts. What then? Here are a few ideas.


From Fear and Avoidance to Love and Trust: Transforming Your Relationship with Money. (2/13/15)
Lorraine Segal
Looking back, my needs around money have always been met. But it didn’t feel that way to me at all. I bounced between vagueness, avoiding concrete information or action about money, and terror, that I would be destitute and never have enough.


The Importance of Preventive Law to the Growth of Mediation (2/10/15)
Mary Aderibigbe
We are in the information era marked by influx of ideas, data flexibility and improved efficiency. This information age has to a large extent contributed to global decline in career and employment opportunities.


After the Conflict is Resolved (2/06/15)
Jeffrey Fink
It does not matter who you are, or whether you are fighting on behalf of yourself or your organization. As a conflict is prolonged, people repeat and rehearse the story over and over again in their minds. When it is time to move on, it can be hard to disengage.


Accessing Justice (2/06/15)
Joe Markowitz
A recent artical in the ABA Journal on movements to license legal technicians to perform limited legal services cited a Bar Foundation study showing that most people encountering what the study called "civil justice situations" either handled the situation themselves, did nothing about it, or enlisted the help of friends and family.


What Happens to Temporary Loan Modifications Reached in Foreclosure Mediation? (2/06/15)
Jennifer Shack
A lot of the cases that go through RSI’s foreclosure mediation programs end with a temporary loan modification – a trial payment plan in which the homeowner pays a new mortgage amount for a few months. If the homeowner makes the payments on time and in full during the trial period, the homeowner and bank agree to make the modification permanent.


A Mediator’s Pleas(e) (2/06/15)
Richard Levie
A mediator is placed between the action and reaction – sometimes leading, sometimes following.


The Downside of Evaluation in Mediation (2/06/15)
Dan Simon
“Based on my years of experience as a litigator and as a judge, I’d say your latest positions are both within the reasonable range for this case. I’d say the plaintiff’s demand of $200,000 is on the high side of that range; and I’d say the defendant’s offer of $100,000 is on the low side of that range. So I’d say that any settlement you arrive at now, between those numbers, would be a good deal for both sides, considering the costs and uncertainty of continued litigation.”

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