Mediation has been on the ascent in resolving disputes short of trial over the past decade. In this COVID age of closed trial courts and uncertain trial dates, mediation provides an opportunity to obtain a fair resolution in a timely manner.
One of the most noticeable issues that could arise in a negotiation or mediation is an imbalance of power. Often one of the hardest issues to overcome if the neutral or the parties are not prepared, and still difficult when the neutral is prepared, an imbalance can easily throw an otherwise successful dispute resolution process.
James F. Ring and some colleagues gave a fascinating talk at the recent ABA Dispute Resolution Section on Game Theory; Where it started was cutting a cake; Where it ended was cutting out the lawyers, at least by implication.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires covered employers to grant reasonable accommodations to those otherwise qualified employees who are able to complete the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. The employer may negate the duty by showing that the only possible reasonable accommodations impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Asking questions is one of the most powerful – and often misused – tools for professionals in dispute resolution settings, whether legal, workplace, mediation or anywhere. When you are dealing with high-conflict clients, it is especially important to consider the timing of different types of questions and also to know what questions you should never ask.
From New York, an interesting institutional approach to small-stakes dispute resolution: the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH).According to the article, OATH was created in 1979 as an “independent alternative” to internal agency tribunals.
I’ve handled any number of mediations where the parties and counsel view prospects for settlement with optimism. Lately, I’m seeing more and more pre-mediation conferences being held in complicated cases or cases where the prospects of settlement seem less likely.
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.
I love the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution annual conferences. They always put on a wide array of wonderful sessions and it’s a great time to connect with friends, old and new. As in the past, I am listing some sessions that particularly intrigue me.
They typically involve many parties and concern an intricate set of historical, religious, cultural, political, and economic issues.