Be Less Certain—and More Flexible
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.
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?
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
We Need a Better Consensus About Negotiation Theory
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”
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
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.
The Importance of Preventive Law to the Growth of Mediation
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
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.
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?
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)
A mediator is placed between the action and reaction – sometimes leading, sometimes following.
The Downside of Evaluation in Mediation
“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.”
To Publish, or Not to Publish Arbitral Awards: That is the Question
Einer R. Elhauge, Petrie Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School, has authored “To Publish, or Not to Publish Arbitral Awards: That is the Question…,” 81 International Journal of Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Management, Number 1, 2015. In his research paper, Professor Elhauge examines some potential pros and cons of establishing a publication mechanism for international commercial arbitral awards.
Integrating Conflict Management and Workplace Mediation Practices: A Blueprint for Future Practice
Craig Runde, Daniel Dana
A key motive for closer integration between workplace mediation and conflict management processes is the desire of organizational clients to control costs. In a manner similar to the evolution from litigation to alternative dispute resolution, organizations are increasingly recognizing the advantages of improved ability of managers and employees to manage their conflicts at the lowest possible level and at the earliest possible time.
Negotiation Advocacy and the Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution
One promising and yet underdeveloped segment of the alternative dispute resolution movement is negotiation advocacy. Roles such as collaborative attorney and conflict coach are allowing ADR practitioners to enhance their clients’ experience at the negotiation table with communication coaching and a style of advocacy that is cooperative in nature.
Mediation Past, Present, and Future….
Mediation has been part of the story of mankind. The word mediation may be part of the 20th century English vocabulary, but the meaning behind it has roots and seeds that have been developed as long as mankind has existed.
Without Compulsion: Teaching Mediators Empathy
When we are in conflict, our counterparts become our enemies. We block positive feelings we may have about them. We may try and bravely think of something good to say, but emotional leakage gives away the pain we are feeling. It is difficult to move our counterpart out of the enemy camp, and even more difficult to say something positive about him or her.
Mediation Advocacy – Countdown to a Successful Mediation
Barbara Reeves Neal
Lawyers and mediators sometimes fail to appreciate that a mediation requires as much advance planning and consideration of strategy as a trial. Too often, lawyers (and some mediators) pick up the file a day or two in advance (at best) and wing it, relying on their advocacy skills and smarts to negotiate their way through the mediation day.
Truths in Advertising
Several times in the course of my life I’ve been involved with a cohort of people who envisioned themselves as a possible vanguard of fundamental social change even while they were pursuing professional careers In fact, many of the early mediation practitioners were also veterans of civil rights and anti-war activities who were drawn to ADR as an alternative path to justice, equality, and social change.
The Police and the Public: A Mediator’s Reflections
In a society where media coverage and public concern shift rapidly from one headline to another, tension surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner seems to have exceptional durability and to be spilling into numerous venues, not least the conflict between New York’s police and its mayor. What insight can mediators offer as we seek to understand, and perhaps avoid, such escalating situations in the future?
Joint Sessions: More Arrows in the Mediation Advocacy Quiver
Daniel Ben-Zvi, Caroline Vincent
While private caucuses and shuttle diplomacy successfully produce settlements, attorneys who also choose to advocate directly to their opposition in joint session are availing themselves of more arrows in the attorney’s quiver. Mediators Daniel Ben-Zvi and Caroline Vincent encourage attorneys not to overlook this valuable tool and discuss strategies to use in conjunction with joint sessions to provide the most favorable resolution for their clients.
Recovering After Conflict - Book Excerpt
When people have lived with an ongoing conflict for a while, it is often hard for them to find a new identity. Conflict often becomes a part of people and fuels their fire. After conflict, it is important to take to heal and find ways to fuel a new fire. This book excerpt discusses that process.
Benefit Vs. Purpose
My first mediation of 2015 settled based on pragmatism. It was a lemon law matter filed under California's Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act - Civil Code Section 1792 et seq. Plaintiff purchased the vehicle from a neighbor somewhat on a whim, thinking she would use it for commuting. Unfortunately, Plaintiff found herself taking the vehicle in for repairs quite frequently- too frequently for her liking. While Plaintiff thought the vehicle to be a "lemon", the defendant manufacturer took a hard look at the repair orders and found that many of the concerns were repaired after one attempt.
Neutral Analysis and Second Opinions
Corporate counsel—under seemingly never-ending pressure to contain costs—have a wide array of dispute resolution tools available to them, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation. There are other devices, however, that merit consideration at any stage of a dispute.
“Investment Arbitration Is Now On Broadway, And The Critics Are Not Being Kind”
That was the assessment of Constantine Partasides QC, founding partner of Three Crowns, during his keynote address to the joint ITA-IEL conference. According to Mr. Partasides, there is a developing consensus among states that it is acceptable, and even virtuous, to challenge investor-state arbitration as an infringement on the rights of the public to pass laws through their democratically-elected representatives.
Mediation: Centerpiece of World Recovery
This articles examines the future of mediation as a tool for global improvement. There are a variety of venues where mediation might prove to be the only answer for entrenched conflict.
Educación y Paz Integral Sustentable y Duradera - en Espanol
Eduardo Andres Sandoval Forero
En el presente capítulo exponemos algunas ideas sobre la paz integral, su sustentabilidad y durabilidad. Abordamos la relación de la paz integral con la educación, entendida como un subsistema en el que se presentan conflictos, violencias, variedades áulicas y dinámicas de respeto y aplicación de los derechos humanos, de tolerancia, reconocimiento a las diversidades y praxis de cultura de paz.
“Serious incident” Investigator Training Hits the Spot
The Health Board South Wales asked us to train their Serious Incident Investigators. Although we know investigating inside and out, this was a new context for us that involved a lot of research and adapting to their needs. And it paid off!
U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Review Case Where Mediator Conflict Existed
The United States Supreme Court has reportedly been asked to review a federal court’s order refusing to set aside a jury’s verdict where a court-appointed mediator failed to disclose his close personal relationship with a partner at the law firm representing several of the defendants. In CEATS Inc. v. Continental Airlines, Inc., et al., No. 14-681, CEATS filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas against Continental Airlines, Ticketmaster, and a number of other corporations over the companies’ alleged use of CEATS’s technology in certain seat selection software.
The Big Irish “What If?”
A couple of years ago in January I wrote a post on likely developments in Ireland in the New Year which, if I recall correctly, had the expression “High Hopes” in the title. Those hopes related primarily to the publication of a new, comprehensive piece of legislation on mediation and the impact it might have upon the practice and profession of mediation.
Fees of the Successfully Challenged Arbitrator?
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In its decision of 17.2.2014, the Austrian Supreme Court decided on a claimant’s request for reimbursement of the portion of the fees advanced to the arbitrator whom it had successfully challenged during ongoing proceedings and on his liability for frustrated costs caused by the challenge and the appointment of a new arbitrator.