Hybrid Processes

The Times they are a Changin’

When trawling the annals of the internet, you never know what you will find. But, every so often you stumble across a gem. Buried in the BBC archives, my scattershot googling led me to this: The Search for Agreement – Mediation (2000) on the BBC World Service, Global Business….

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ABA Conference Sessions You Might Enjoy

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. 

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Don’t Take Special for Granted

My posts typically deal with insights I’ve gained in my career as a mediator. That said, mediation is what I do. It’s not who I am. I’m a son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend, a lawyer, a partner, a Christian — and so many other things, in addition to being a mediator. In that regard, you’re the same as I am. The many different hats you wear in life contribute to who you are, and what’s genuinely important to you.

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Creative Uses Of Mediation

Most of my readers are lawyers. Many of you are litigators — for whom mediation has become a preferred tool for resolving most of your cases. Typically, I’m assuming, you see mediation as a process where you can confidently come together with other parties involved in litigation, call a timeout, and determine if the parties can reach an agreement to resolve the case. This is how I’m asked to lead mediations about 95% of the time.

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When Is A Case Ripe For Mediation?

I would say all of those cases were ripe for mediation at the time I was asked to mediate them. How can that be? Simple. In each case, the attorneys/parties had the right information, and a strong enough desire to settle, in order to make good decisions. Could those cases, which were further into the judicial process, have been resolved sooner? Possibly. But in retrospect, I don’t think they were ready until we mediated them.

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The Need To Be Right

Regardless of the hat I’m wearing at the time — mediator, litigator, friend, brother, husband, father, and now grandfather — I struggle with the desire to be right. Always right. I recently read a post on the Mediate.com blog by Loraine Segal entitled The Seductiveness of Being Right. St. Augustine, a pillar of the early church, regularly prayed “Oh Lord, deliver me from the lust of always vindicating myself.” Can you identify with this? The desire to be right truly is seductive, and it’s not helpful.

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Tired of Feeling Divided? – Part 3

The word on the street is that U.S. politics are more polarized today than they have been since 1879, just after the U.S. Civil War. The good news is that this is half wrong. The data tells us that when it comes to such things as strength of party affiliation and political ideology (Liberal versus Conservative), we have actually been holding steady for several decades. What Americans can do to De-Polarize our Nation

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Tired of Feeling Divided? – Part 2

The word on the street is that U.S. politics are more polarized today than they have been since 1879, just after the U.S. Civil War. The good news is that this is half wrong. The data tells us that when it comes to such things as strength of party affiliation and political ideology (Liberal versus Conservative), we have actually been holding steady for several decades. What Americans can do to De-Polarize our Nation

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Do You Use “BATNA” Wrong?

In most legal disputes, there is considerable uncertainty.  Lawyers and parties discount their assessments of possible outcomes to reflect the risks, so MLATNAs therefore are always inferior to the BATNAs.

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