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IAM Blog - Summary of Articles

In the IAM Blog, members of the International Academy of Mediators share their wisdom about how mediation can best be used to resolve serious conflicts, including approaches, techniques and perspective. This blog offers insights and thinking from one of the top groups of mediators in the world.

  The Pros and Cons of a Very Public Settlement
By: Jan Schau, IAM Distinguished Fellow 
Email: JFSchau@adrservices.org

 
For the past fifteen years, I have been a strong advocate for mediation. Through some mix of optimism and arrogance, I have maintained the belief that all conflict can and should be resolved through a skillfully-managed mediation process...to read more click here

Reframing the Mediation Lexicon

By: Eric R. Galton, IAM Distinguished Fellow (with a great deal of help from friends)
Email:
eric@lakesidemediation.com
See full article at www.iamed.org

Words matter. So in basic mediation training we teach neutral words and reframing. But is our mediation lexicon stale and itself in need of reframing? As I pursued this question, I spoke with world class mediators, some of whom are mentioned below...to read more click here

Why I Decided to Write Agreed!, the 10,000th Book about Negotiation and Mediation
By: Thierry Garby, IAM Distinguished Fellow
Email: t.garby@me.com

I wrote Agreed! for exactly the same reason Einstein wrote his theory of relativity: there was something that did not work in Newton’s theory. There are lots of ideas which, in my view, do not work in what we are usually taught about negotiation and mediation...to read more
click Here

 










Reflections on a Recent Mediation: Listening (Redux)
By: Jerome F. Weiss, IAM Distinguished Fellow
Email: mediator@mediationsolve.com


The day of mediation began with one of the lawyers scoffing that this was not an emotional matter at all and the family just needed to get over it. I brought him into the room with the family’s boxes (see picture) and responded “REALLY?”...to read more click here






 

 

Brexit and the Binary Bind

By: Bill Marsh, IAM Distinguished Fellow in England
Email:
wm@billmarsh.co.uk          

First posted on Kluwer Mediation Blog.


Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised by the whole Brexit affair. I’m not talking about the result of the vote itself, but about the referendum process, the behaviour it engendered, and its aftermath...to read more click here



Everyone Needs to Feel Like a Winner in the Brexit Negotiations

By: John Sturrock, IAM Distinguished Fellow in Scotland
Email:
John.Sturrock@core-solutions.com  

First published in The Herald in Glasgow.

As we approach months of negotiations among the many parties involved in Brexit and Scotland’s place in Europe and, indeed, the UK, what techniques might we hope to see applied?..to read more click here


Mediator Practices and Perceptions (Part 3):

A Call for Feedback on Mediator Evaluation and Opinion-Giving

By: Tom Stipanowich, IAM Honorary Fellow & Karinya Verghese*

Email: Thomas.Stipanowich@pepperdine.edu & karinya@karinyaverghese.com 

As a recap (or for new readers) Tom’s recent article titled “Insights on Mediator Practices and Perceptions,” outlines three areas of apparent regional divergence in mediation practice, arising out of the 2014 survey conducted by the IAM and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine School of Law...to read more click here


 

 

 

Mediator Practices and Perceptions (Part 2):

A Call for Feedback on the Handling of Information Shared in Caucus

By: Tom Stipanowich, IAM Honorary Fellow & Karinya Verghese*

Email: Thomas.Stipanowich@pepperdine.edu & karinya@karinyaverghese.com                     


As a recap (or for new readers) Tom’s recent article titled “Insights on Mediator Practices and Perceptions,” outlines three areas of apparent regional divergence in mediation practice, arising out of the 2014 survey conducted by the IAM and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine School of Law. The divergent areas include: (1) the relative use of joint session and caucus in mediation...to read more click here


 

Mediator Practices and Perceptions:

A Call for Feedback on the Use of Joint Session v. Caucus

By: Tom Stipanowich, IAM Honorary Fellow & Karinya Verghese

Email: Thomas.Stipanowich@pepperdine.edu  & karinya@karinyaverghese.com           


How do mediators actually work? Tom’s recent article titled “Insights on Mediator Practices and Perceptions,” outlines three areas of apparent regional divergence in mediation practice, arising out of the 2014 survey conducted by the IAM and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine School of Law...to read more click here


7 Tips for Mediating Disputes with Insurance Coverage Issues

By:  Paul J. Van Osselaer, IAM Distinguished Fellow
Email: Paul@VanOsselaerADR.com  
                               

Insurance coverage disputes can be the subject of their own lawsuits. But more often – to the surprise of an unsuspecting mediator or attorney – they exist in the background of non-insurance cases and can sidetrack or derail settlement. It doesn’t have to be that way with some planning before a mediation session begins...to read more click here


 

Cognitive Barriers to Success in Mediation: Irrational Attachments to Positions and Other Errors of Perception that Impact Settlement Decisions
By: Bennett G. Picker,  IAM Distinguished Fellow & Gregg F. Relyea
Email: bpicker@stradley.com & Mr
Relyea@aol.com

When preparing for mediation, most parties establish benchmarks for settlement. After assessing the likely risks and costs of litigation, most parties identify settlement ranges and many establish tentative “bottom lines.” Often these assessments are unconsciously influenced by limitations in our five senses and the way we process information, collectively called “cognitive barriers.” When establishing benchmarks for settlement, parties and counsel should make every effort to avoid the following errors of judgment that may affect their evaluations and decisions about settlement...to read more click here


Deliberating on the Future of Mediation

By: Tom Stipanowich, IAM Honorary Fellow & Karinya Verghese

Email: Thomas.Stipanowich@pepperdine.edu & karinya@karinyaverghese.com 

Over the past 30 years, there has been an explosion in the use of mediation. In Tom’s latest published article, “The International Evolution of Mediation: A Call for Dialogue and Deliberation,” he observes that the “mounting global preoccupation” with mediation has resulted in a proliferating array of institutions, programs, laws and regulations; an international “evangelical” movement; and growing impetus for an international convention promoting the recognition and enforcement of mediated settlement agreements...to read more click here


 

Reflections on a Recent Mediation: Listening

By: Jerome F. Weiss, IAM Distinguished Fellow

Email: mediator@mediationsolve.com                                          

So much of our work as mediators is focused on listening.  We go to school to learn how.  We probe the psychology.  We take advanced seminars in mindful listening and picking up cues and listening with our eyes and our instinct.  Our weekend retreats tell us how we and disputants often stop listening because of chemical or electrical reactions in the miracle we call brain and body...to read more click here  


Mediating in the Digital World or Sorry Seems the Hardest Text (with Apologies to Elton John)

By: Eric Galton, IAM Distinguished Fellow

Email: eric@lakesidemediation.com    

About a year ago something weird happened at a mediation. Really weird. All the lawyers and parties were under 40. The mediation was held on different floors of a large law firm. The parties declined a face to face joint session. I asked for cell phone numbers so I could text due to our multi-floor arrangement. A demand had been made so I met briefly with the defendant. I was asked to adjourn to the lobby. Defense counsel texted me an offer...to read more click here






Thinking about the Future and the Need for Action by Mediators

Part 3 (of 3): A Call to Arms for Mediators?
By: John Sturrock, IAM Distinguished Fellow

Email: john.sturrock@core-solutions.com      

 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.”

–Marianne Williamson (often attributed to Nelson Mandela)

To read more click here


Thinking about the Future and the Need for Action by Mediators
P
art 2 (of 3): Overcoming Our Inertia and the Status Quo
By: John Sturrock, IAM Distinguished Fellow

Email: john.sturrock@core-solutions.com


We are wired to resist radical changes. Risk aversion is a profound instinct; maintenance of the status quo usually feels preferable. Inertia is so familiar - and so comfortable.

 

Yet my proposition is that we need to anticipate what is coming, indeed to begin to see what is already so obvious that we are, as writer Margaret Heffernan says, willfully blind to it, shockingly unaware, just like the frog in heating water...to read more click here


Thinking about the Future and the Need for Action by Mediators

Part 1 (of 3): Questions About Where We Are Right Now 

By: John Sturrock, IAM Distinguished Fellow

Email: john.sturrock@core-solutions.com      
                 

There is danger when speaking in generalities as if one had access to some sort of universal truth. What I say here is a reflection of how I see things. I’ll pose questions and not answer many of them, and may not even coherently join up all the dots...to read more click here

 


Advice to Those Pondering a Mediation Career
By: Michael E. Dickstein, IAM Distinguished Fellow
Email:
md@DicksteinDisputeResolution.com

Some thoughts:

  1. Being a mediator is one of the most interesting, fulfilling, challenging and fun careers that you can be lucky enough to be paid to do. It is wonderful to be paid to do something many people will do for free.

  2. Don’t become a mediator because you are too old, tired, or sick to do your current job. Being an effective mediator can mean very long days of running at 100%, and being so present that your energy could power a small city...to read more click here


The Business of ADR is Changing

By: Bruce A. Edwards, IAM Distinguished Fellow

Emailbruceaedwards@comcast.net

 

Those of us who have been in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for the past 25 years have seen it grow from an industry in modest infancy to thriving adulthood. In the beginning, we grappled with a business model of franchisor or franchisee. Mediators were challenged by potential conflicts of interest and were constantly in danger of being labeled as anything other than “neutral,” based on our law firm affiliations...to read more click here


The Pivot
By: Gene Moscovitch, IAM Distinguished Fellow
Email:
genem@judicatewest.com

 

Lately, I have been developing a concept in mediation that I call “The Pivot.” It is when and why the mediator begins to segue from the facts, law, and emotions of the case to more exclusive negotiation of the dollars and terms that will be necessary to settle the case. My focus is mostly employment and civil rights cases, but the Pivot should be applicable to all sorts of commercial and class action cases as well...to read more click here


Creating Client Value by Getting the Earliest Possible Settlements

By: Laura A. Kaster & Michael J. Leech, IAM Distinguished Fellow
Email:
laura.kaster@gmail.com & mleech@talk-sense.com

Most commercial disputes will be settled and not tried. Expert expense and internal distraction increase in direct proportion to the time spent litigating prior to settlement. Clients are asking “Why can’t the dispute be resolved earlier to reduce the process expense and business disruption?” But one party’s counsel has a limited ability to make it happen sooner...To read more click here


Replacing Joint Sessions with Learning Conversations

By: Eric Galton, IAM Distinguished Fellow
Email: eric@lakesidemediation.com

 

I have been experimenting with a process variation: I no longer have joint sessions with opening presentations. Instead, I host learning conversations.

I’m hosting learning conversations in almost all pre-suit mediations and in litigated cases in which little discovery has been done, barring a specific reason to refrain. I also host learning conversations, barring objection, in more developed litigated cases...To read more
click here


Mediating at the Fringe

By: John Sturrock, IAM Distinguished Fellow
Email: John.Sturrock@core-solutions.com

"The best thing you can do is step aside and let others get on with it. . . .” This remark by a member of the audience took me rather by surprise. It came at the end of our third, and final, event at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, each entitled “Why Didn’t We Have This Conversation a Year Ago?” Over 200 people had crossed the threshold for our events, sub-titled “Mediating Conversations about Difficult Issues.”... To read more click here


Conduct Just the Right Amount of Discovery for Mediation

By: Jan Schau, IAM Distinguished Fellow
Email: JFSchau@adrservices.org

Albert Einstein famously said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” And yet many litigators continue to believe that before a legal dispute can be resolved they need to thoroughly review every shred of evidence, including noticing and enduring a series of uncomfortable and expensive depositions from every identifiable potential witness...To read more click here


The Art of Asking Questions

By: David Hoffman, IAM Distinguished Fellow
Email: dhoffman@bostonlawcollaborative.com

Mediation is sometimes referred to as “the art of asking questions.” One of my mediation teachers, David Matz, described this process as similar to fishing – we cast our questions on the waters of the conflict, and sometimes we catch a fish (i.e., a really useful answer)!...To read more click here


Information Gathering Through Worksheets in Multi-Party Constructions Mediations

By: Jerry Palmer, IAM Distinguished Fellow

Email: palmerjer@jpalmerlaw.com

Most mediators learn early in their practices that we never know as much about the case as the counsel do. The lawyer will always understand more about the risk aversion of the client because of fear of the courtroom, fear of the result, or the balance of opportunity and risk. The mediator will not have seen the witnesses, and can’t evaluate from a cold transcript the nonverbal disclosures that were observed by counsel...To read more click here

 


 Please note that each IAM Blog posting represents the view of its individual author, but not necessarily others associated with IAM. IAM Blog Editor Keith L. Seat may be contacted at kseat@keithseat.com.

 


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