Negative Sum Games: Situations That Destroy Value

While most people attend a mediation or negotiation hoping to walk away with the most possible value, when the goodwill between the parties breaks down, they may leave the table with little to nothing to show for their work.  When both parties leave the table feeling as though they have “lost” and leave the value …

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Morton’s Resolution Model: The Resolution of Conflict

Conflict is often painted in a bad light.  It can make people feel uneasy and often contributes to the breakdown of relationships. However, not all conflict is destructive, and there are times when conflict may be beneficial for a situation or relationship.  The idea that conflict will have either constructive or destructive results is the …

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Structural Barriers to Good Communication and Agreement

Structural Barriers to Communication - ADR Times

Communication is an important part of any workplace or group setting, and a key component of reaching agreements.  When communication is healthy, a workplace or group can be productive and reach its objective.  When communication breaks down, other aspects of the workplace begin to fall apart as well.  In some cases, communication breaks down as …

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Transformative Moments in Commercial Mediation

Transformative Moments in Commercial Mediation

Mediation is a dynamic process. This can mean stepping back, leaning out, and adopting a process that empowers the parties to set their own agenda and seek outcomes that may greatly vary from the objectives set forth in the briefs by lawyers who are trained as advocates more than problem-solvers. In disputes where distributive bargaining …

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What is Situational Conflict, and How Can it be Resolved?

Situational Conflict

Many of us try and avoid conflict at all costs. This can include changing our actions and statements to avoid causing conflict. However, conflict is an inevitable part of life, and even the most vigilant of conflict-avoiders will run into a conflict of some kind. For most, the conflict that arises will be situational, or …

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Avoiding Workplace Conflict

Avoiding Workplace Conflict

When considering places to try and avoid conflict, the workplace is often at the top of the list. Most employees prefer to move through their tasks for the day without dealing with frustrated or angry coworkers or having to sit through endless meetings with their colleagues and bosses.  However, conflict in the workplace is a …

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Disadvantages of Arbitration

Arbitration is often touted as a fantastic alternative to litigation, and many times it is. However, there are disadvantages to arbitration that can make it the wrong choice for a dispute for various reasons. Understanding how arbitration may not fit a situation or case can help parties make the best decision regarding the dispute resolution …

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What Does Litigate Mean?

What does litigate mean?

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines “litigate” (from 17th Century Latin litigat, meaning “disputed in a lawsuit,” as “verb… take (a claim or a dispute) to a court of law.” Interestingly, the OED’s compilers chose this sentence as an example of proper usage of the word “Litigate”: “even a claim which is litigated and defended successfully involves high …

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Implied Contracts Explained

Implied Contracts

Implied contracts are typically not explained or considered until there is an issue with the agreement that the implied contract is responsible for upholding.  Implied contracts are actions or behaviors on the part of the parties that demonstrate an agreement between the parties, even if it is not spoken.  These contracts are compared to express …

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Defining Partiality

Defining Partiality

How to define partiality? Within the alternative dispute resolution sphere, the word partiality, or more commonly impartiality, is used often, but for some new to the field, it can be difficult to define.  I t often feels like a type of action that would normally be easily identifiable, but in the world of alternative dispute …

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