“It’s hard to beat Dark Side of the Moon” he said. “What a piece of music.” I agreed: “Did you ever see Pink Floyd play Dark Side live? I recall being at Earls Court in 1994.” “I was there too!” he exclaimed. For a moment or two, we reflected on the album’s seemingly relevant song…

  The International Commercial Mediation Competition made a brave online appearance this year – the 16th year in which the ICC has delivered the most important competition of its kind in the world. For 15 of these 16 years it has been my privilege to be part of this experience as the coach for my…

“Managing a Client’s expectations and advising them on a course of action turned out to be far more difficult than negotiating with the other Party.” So wrote newly-minted Indian lawyer Varsha Manoj about her experiences negotiating with her clients. Many lawyers in the US and other countries undoubtedly have similar experiences. Legal clients often experience…

Anna Howard’s first book, ‘EU Cross-Border Commercial Mediation: Listening to Disputants – Changing the Frame; Framing the Changes’ (published by Kluwer), is an important contribution to the literature about the practice and promotion of mediation. It deserves a wide readership among academics and practitioners alike and I hope that potential readers will not be deflected…

The Harvard Program on Negotiation (PON) has provided a life-changing experience for many of us. It certainly changed the trajectory of my life and triggered a life-long immersion in conflict resolution theory and practice. I am immensely grateful. The program has been an evolutionary one – regularly enhanced and updated to fit the frame of…

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama tells the story of a family living in Tokyo over 30 years. Two brothers, one a sumo wrestler and the other a maker of Noh theater masks, are forced to adapt their lives to changes in society in order to succeed in their traditional professions. In an…

I write this in the aftermath of yet another mediation in which the protagonists exhibited symptoms of having been seriously traumatised by the litigation process to which they had been exposed. Depression, suicidal thoughts, anger, loathing, destroyed relationships, large amounts of money spent with no discernible value. And this was a commercial situation, not a…

Covid is the gift that keeps on giving. It has provided a wonderful focus for blame that has let us off the hook for a lot of things. It has coincided with significant changes in our mediation experiences and again has been seized on as the culprit when mediation sessions go ‘off piste’. The new…

Just recently (November 4th), hackers attacked Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice (Superior Tribunal de Justiça – STJ). Not only they had access to the Court’s system and encrypted its entire database but also demanded ransom money to restore it. In other words, they succeeded in hacking one of the most centralized courts in the Brazilian…

In 2015, I retired as an American law professor. For most of my career, I used some of the basic concepts of our field such as negotiation, BATNA, positional vs. interest-based negotiation, and facilitative vs. evaluative mediation. I wasn’t always comfortable with these terms, but I used them because I couldn’t imagine shifting to alternatives….