Many of you will have read of the tragedy this week in Arizona, where a mediation ended in the death of one party, and the serious wounding of their lawyer. Details are still sketchy, but it seems that a mediation of a commercial dispute was taking place in an office in downtown Phoenix, between a…

Prior to Christmas I found myself in Jerusalem, Israel – the heart of the heart of the conflict of our time. Here, no one agrees on anything – even the monks from various Christian denominations (Greek Orthodox, Armenians, Catholics and others) responsible for The Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Christ was crucified, argue amongst…

I read a long time ago that lessons for life can be found everywhere as long as we look for them. As with many of these quotes that we read, my response was to nod sagaciously, file it away for future reference and then forget all about it. I was driving the other day, about…

Down here in New Zealand it’s high summer and most of the country will spend until the end of January at the beach. I remember, when I was still at my law firm 10 years ago, the feeling of brief respite at this time of year before having to put on my boots again and trudge…

In the last year I have had the privilege of joining a group of mediators for their monthly CPD (continuing professional development). We are all loosely in the commercial sector, which can include workplace, family business and public sector disputes. This being Scotland (see previous posts on judicial resistance to mediation) no-one is making their…

In this posting I want to reflect on how, as a mediator, I’ve learnt much from the related but independent conflict management process, called conflict coaching. Before I get ahead of myself, however, let me start by offering an explanation of conflict coaching. Conflict coaching is a service provided by a conflict specialist to a…

The location was the Old Post House in Stafford, a traditional English, allegedly haunted, building with excellent conference facilities, good food and awful coffee. The occasion was World Conflict Resolution Day, this year on 18th October. About 45 mediators from around the world had gathered for a day of lectures on workshops on mediation. The…

This week in Glasgow, Strathclyde University hosted the first seminar in a series entitled ‘Reframing Resolution – Managing Individual Workplace Conflict’. The six seminars will take place across the UK over the next 12 months and the opener was ambitiously called ‘Understanding Individual Employment Disputes.’ The day contained elements that were encouraging and others that…

I come from a Western mediation tradition that argues strenuously for neutrality and impartiality in a mediator. Indeed, one of the first questions lawyers will ask when hiring me is whether or not I have any conflict of interest – in other words, do I know those involved in the dispute, have I worked with…

Often when I’m mediating a difficult case; the parties, running hot, miles apart and showing no sign of movement, an inner voice whispers softly to me, “it’s just not ripe for settlement.” It’s an attractive concept because it lets me off the hook. Nothing to be done here until the case ripens. I might as…