James Robertson’s novel ‘To be continued…’ introduces us to a character who goes by the name of Mungo Forth Mungo. Mungo is somewhat far fetched, not least because he is a talking toad. In this capacity he engages in many thoughtful and reflective conversations with the main character in the book – Murray Findhorn Elder…

A whole day of mediation without a “joint meeting”. The only time the lawyers met was to begin drafting the settlement agreement. The experts played no part. The day before, the principals had exchanged correspondence deprecating perceived personal insults directed at professional advisers which, it was felt, had damaged reputations. This was a long-running commercial…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is unquestionable one of the hottest topics at the moment. At the 2017 International Bar Association Annual Congress, that has just ended in Australia, one of the most recurrent and discussed question was: Will Artificial Intelligence ever be able to replace lawyers or the Law practice as we currently know ? Before…

Readers might have seen media reports that New Zealand has a new government. In New Zealand this is a slightly delayed conclusion to the general election at the end of September, the delay being the result of our proportional representation system, which left neither of the two major parties, Labour and National, with a sufficient…

Shortly after the neighbourhood mediation started, one of the parties turned to me her eyes flashed with anger: “Everything that he is telling is false, do not listen to him…” The other party got het up: “Indeed, Mr. mediator, everything I have ever said was a lie…Do not listen to me…” Without even knowing this,…

The story of the blindfolded men who each approach an elephant from different angles (at the tusk it’s described as a spear, at the tail a rope, at the leg a tree etc.) is a good example of how multiple truths can exist depending on the perspective you take. Different views can often be the…

This is another blog in the spirit of earlier entries along the lines of “what would you do with XXX at your table.” The challenge will emerge in the course of reading. Myth and metaphor, and the etymology of mediation, are amply available to convey the mediator’s task of steering between – or finding a…

I recently attended the annual American Bar Association Dispute Resolution conference in San Francisco. Several themes emerged (for me) as fairly critical for modern lawyers. Here’s a top ten. Problem-Solving and Risk Analysis is more than learning about the law or what a court might do. Most issues which clients bring to lawyers are resolved…

In two earlier blog posts, I commented on the work of and risks to the Land and Water Forum in New Zealand. That there is cause to write again on this topic begins to feel like shaping up to the blog equivalent of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: a Trilogy in Four Parts…