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Orchestrating Settlement: A Symphony of Sound and Color

This fall I attended one of the outdoor concerts by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl. It was a spectacular affair—beginning with the wonderful sounds of classical music and ending with a fantastic light show.  The concert featured a local university marching band as well as a guest appearance from a world renowned cellist.

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Confidentiality is the ‘Heart’ of Mediation

In almost every ADR session, the neutral informs the disputants that the session is confidential, and they can speak frankly.  While this is usually true, there are important limitations that ADR consumers may not be aware of.  Before you disclose the next sensitive trade secret or embarrassing personal fact, read this article.

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An Introduction to The Five Stages of Mediation

Mediation is
negotiation with the assistance of a neutral third party. It is a
process, and like other processes has stages. Those stages are different
depending on which role you play. But either way, each stage requires your
active participation if you are to succeed. In this article we detail the 5 stages of mediation for mediators and disputants.

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Empathy in Mediation

Empathy is an essential tool in mediation, both for the mediator and hopefully a quality the participants develop as well. Mediators recognize, unless we want to act purely as evaluators (and even then the capacity for empathy is still important), that we need to try to empathize with the needs and feelings of both sides in every case, to build trust and encourage understanding.

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Difficult People: Effecting Change in How We Handle This Fact of Life

The American Bar Association this year included a brief article in its October Journal under Law Office Management highlighting a Stanford University study and article by Professor Robert Sutton concerning the effect of “jerks” in the workplace. One of the conclusions made from various studies outlined in the article was that people identified as “pessimists and angry or nasty people” will reduce overall productivity of the entire department by 30% to 40%. “Negative workers” bring down enthusiasm and change the mood of a group.

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