Scotland is a practical nation. The list of its inventions includes penicillin, anaesthetics, steam engines, tarmac roads and even the decimal point (see http://www.magicdragon.com/Wallace/thingscot.html#Ta). Like the rest of the UK its culture was in part forged by the ‘practical man’ of the Industrial Revolution, rejecting grand theory in favour of trial and error. Its lawyers,…

It is often said that listening is one of a mediator’s core skills. At the same time the parties’ ability to listen to each other is equally important. Where parties’ communication has broken down to such an extent that they are unable to really hear what each other is saying, mediators can step in and…

ADR in Brazil is a hot issue. The number of courses, events, discussions and debates over the present and future status of mediation is already significant and growing at high rates. For the people who are involved in the field, it looks like mediation booming.

There are reasons for this enthusiasm. The Brazilian Court System may have become an economic bottleneck. Given the slowness of the Brazilian Court System, in theory, there is a demand for quicker, more agile and informal ways of resolving disputes.

The adversarial process built into the Brazilian court system can no longer be the sole or even the preferred way to address disputes. It is expensive, slow and unpredictable. This situation calls (or screams) for the application of ADR. Mediation would seem to be the natural solution to be adopted in most cases.

Additionally, Brazil has already produced a significant number of well-trained mediators, a Code of Ethics following international standards and judges and court staff adequately trained and prepared to identify cases which could be referred to mediation. Despite the theoretically favorable environment, in practice, mediation is still not the preferred way to resolve disputes in Brazil. In fact, mediation in Brazil is adopted in a very small number of cases. Brazil has the need and the means to adopt mediation as a main stream form of dispute resolution, but somehow it has not happened so far.

I have just recently received an arbitral award for a client that resolved a construction dispute which had arisen more than five years ago. Unfortunately, such time frame is not exceptional. Litigation would probably not have lasted any shorter. Construction disputes are usually complex and tend to involve stacks of documents. Such disputes often involve…

In the land of plenty (austerity packages) and decennial litigation fights, a new hope seems to emerge for the first time. Mediation is in the mouths of lawyers and the minds of academics. It is also part of the MoJ’s agenda since 2010. My objective is to present you the mediation landscape in Greece, and…

The term “ADR” is certainly familiar to not just those of us in the teaching and practice of mediation, but legal practitioners as well. In this post, I want to share some thoughts about the evolving nature of the “A” in ADR and how this is both reflective of the changes that have occurred in…

It is not uncommon to hear lawyers speak warmly of mediation in general, but when asked if they would recommend it for a particular case respond that they could not see it working. Related to this, lawyers who have developed well-honed negotiation skills may struggle to see how a mediator could improve on their outcomes….

Even if in most jurisdictions it is still rarely practiced, a few areas of law exist in which mediation may provide as many benefits as it does in bankruptcy. A drastic increase in the amount of bankruptcy filings during the recent financial crisis has forced bankruptcy judges and attorneys to seek and employ various methods…

In a previous post I had noted the absence of better inter-connection between the ICC ADR Rules (available at http://www.iccwbo.org/court/adr/id4452/index.html) and the new ICC Arbitration Rules (available at http://www.iccwbo.org/court/arbitration/id4424/index.html) although the latter now open the door, at an early stage of the arbitration proceedings (i.e. the Case Management Conference: Art. 24 para. 1 of the…