THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE

The Myth of the Forceful Mediator

Here is another must-read article on mediation from one of my International Academy of Mediators colleagues, Jeff Kichaven. Jeff is a mediator's mediator who both practices and teaches mediation. In this article, he undoes some misconceptions about what makes a mediator effective. As many leading mediators note, mediation is a voluntary process, so "beating up on" one of the parties
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Some Honest Talk About Lying At Mediation

Some Honest Talk About "Lying" At Mediation: An Open Letter By: Jeff Jury, International Academy of Mediators Distinguished Fellow Jeff Jury is an internationally-recognized mediator and arbitrator, whose experience as a neutral is supported by significant trial, appellate, and administrative practice. He is a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Texas Law School, Baylor Law School, and
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Life Is Too Short

During a seemingly endless commercial break in the College Football National Championship game last Monday night, I decided to peruse Facebook. I have been having trouble “keeping up with” Facebook lately, as beginning of the year work obligations have been reducing my free time. I saw a few like-worthy posts and reminded myself how perhaps Facebook should not be seen
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A Formula For Success At Mediation And Beyond

“Hope springs eternal,” wrote poet Alexander Pope in his famous An Essay On Man, originally published in 1734. With that optimistic spirit in mind, for this New Year’s Day post I commend readers to Tim Urban’s blog post entitled Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy. Urban’s post directly addresses reasons for the many frustrations and disappointments frequently experienced by people
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Chicago and Earth Wind & Fire Bring It

Chicago and Earth Wind & Fire recently played “the Amp” in Tampa. They brought their awesome full-sound horns, heart-pounding percussion, beautiful ballads and timeless melodies. More importantly, they brought their powerful message of peace and harmony that can only be described as inspiring. The bands opened the show with a joint-set teaser. EWF followed with a set that showed off
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The Argument Clinic

Ever feel like your mediation is turning into a Monty Python skit? Consider the kind of mediation where one of the lawyers decides to disagree on everything, including the weather: “It sure is hot today,” casually remarks Peter Positive, counsel for the plaintiff, flashing his trademark smile. Hardly allowing Peter to finish his sentence, defense counsel Gain Gainsayer fires back,
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The Phrase That Pays

I open the vast majority of my mediations with a five-minute slideshow on mediation.  I cover the ground rules on the process, and mandatory items such as confidentiality and how the mediator role differs from the role of a judge, juror or arbitrator.  Lawyers and claims reps who frequently attend mediation often ask me to speed it up. On occasion,
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The Man In the Middle

Florida, like most states with meaningful mediator certification standards, imposes an apprenticeship requirement.  The details have changed over the years, but fundamentally, before obtaining your mediator certification, you must shadow experienced mediators on a minimum number of cases.  Like many aspiring mediators who had attended hundreds if not thousands of mediations as counsel for one of the parties, I grossly
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Mediation Tips From Former Secretary of State James Baker

Speaking to a group of business negotiators, former Secretary of State James Baker outlined six mediation tips that are helpful for parties, lawyers and mediators alike. In "Closing the Deal: Six Methods of Negotiations," Mr. Baker discusses the importance of: Understanding the other side’s position Building trust through personal relationships “Parallel reciprocal confidence building” (breaking down the overall negotiation into
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The Perfect Canoe Trip

I went on my first canoe trip in the northern Ontario wilderness when I was 10 years old. I have paddled over 5,000 km and spent countless nights on trail. I have guided trips of various lengths over 18 different summers. Every trip presents new challenges that inevitably provide invaluable life lessons and inspiration for the year ahead. Last summer,
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Why I Decided to Write Agreed! – the 10,000th Book about Negotiation and Mediation

by Thierry Garby, International Dispute Mediator, Paris, France Thierry Garby is recognized internationally as one of the world’s pre-eminent mediators. Monsieur Garby is the founder and principal of Resolvers, a negotiation, mediation and mediation training firm based in Paris, France. Among his many distinctions and honors, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators. A more complete
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From Duels to Handshakes

Los Angeles-based Mediators Daniel Ben-Zvi and Caroline Vincent have authored a terrific article on mediation entitled “Mediation: Duels to Handshakes.”   Daniel and Caroline accurately summarize their piece as a “A primer on mediation for both attorneys and their clients.” The historical context of dispute resolution over the centuries provides meaningful insight into how and why the mediation process succeeds.
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