Lawyers in Negotiation – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

For a mediator, a day in mediation is an enriching experience. It is a privilege to watch parties move from what at first blush, appeared to be an intractable dispute attended by a high level of conflict, to resolution at the mediation table. Everyday in mediation we witness a shift in parties’ understanding of a dispute and in consequence their approach to it. We get to understand a little more about the complexities of the human psyche, what moves and shakes people, what pushes buttons and what has profound impact. Granted some of this may be less than obvious in a more tradtional negotiation about “the money”, but...

Reflections from the International Academy of Mediators Conference at Harvard University

I am not usually a name dropper. I often wonder why people do it in conversation with other intelligent people. But on my return from the IAM Conference at Harvard University I feel compelled to share the line up of speakers we were engaged, challenged and enriched by. They are the authors of the books in the ADR section of your office library shelves. So I am going to break a rule and name drop and share with you a take away or two from each speaker. First up we heard from Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone authors of “Difficult Conversations” who asked us to reflect...

Mediator insights from the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Conference on “The Golden State of ADR”.. not rocket science but a re-injection

There is nothing like being immersed in a melting pot of ideas (which is what a good conference is all about) to give your practice a charge. What I learnt at the conference was not rocket science but a timely reminder of some essential truths about mediation. I am now armed and ready to experiment, to push out the boundaries and try new ideas. I hope that by sharing some of my insights and observations with others there may be a similar recharge, or at least a ripple effect, in your practices, either as mediators or lawyers acting as counsel in mediations. Key Insights Redefining mediation Mediation is a continuum...

ADR: NZ is up there with the United States

ADR is a big industry in the United States.Twelve hundred delegates, from all over the US but also from the United Kingdom, Rome and far flung places such as Slovenia attended the April 2005 American bar Association Conference on the “Golden State of ADR”. They were all ADR practitioners of one kind or another but primarily mediators and arbitrators with a scattering of judges, court case managers and representatives of ADR organisations. There was good reason for them all to be there. Like most things American, it was a conference with style and flair and, most importantly , a line up of drawcard speakers. Networking is a science in...

Family Mediation: Under the Spotlight – Law Talk

By Deborah Clapshaw and Susan Freeman-Green The Hon Margaret Wilson has announced that mediation may be used to cope with a surging caseload for the courts caused by the Property (Relationships) Act which came into force on 1 February 2002. This announcement is yet another illustration of the government's recognition of the value of mediation as a dispute resolution tool. This time in the context of its particular appropriateness for family disputes. The spotlight is also being placed on mediation in the Law Commission's review on Family Court Dispute Resolution, where it is calling for submissions on a discussion paper considering possible systemic changes that would facilitate...