In one of my recent cases, the question of impartiality appeared in quite an irregular way. It happened when I entered the mediation room where both parties were seated together with their lawyers. They were drinking coffee and making small talk. To my surprise, one of the lawyers looked quite familiar. Just for a moment,…

Troubling trends observed as an Ontario commercial mediator compel me to once again take up my chiclet-keyed sabre. That the following are indeed trends in commercial mediation in Ontario is unsupported by any reliable data – because no one keeps track. No one records. It’s all anecdotal. Still, I’m now closing in on 30 years…

You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone. Al Capone This popular quote attributed to the famous US mobster announce the use of force and other dirty tricks in negotiation. I do not especially like it. I would relativise it by the following…

Have you ever wondered who mediators are helping? The parties, obviously! Well, not so obvious to our critics. In this blog I consider worries about mediation’s approach to manifest injustice before making the case for understanding the mediator as co-creator, with the parties, of outcomes. I argue that co-creation enhances the prospects for justice. Stories…

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…

Forty-five years ago, Professor Christopher Stone published a paper entitled “Should Trees have Standing? Towards Legal Rights for Natural Objects”. [45 Southern California Law Review 450–501.] Two years later, that paper had morphed into a book of the same title, with the subtitle, “Law, morality and the Environment” (1974; 3rd ed, 2010; OUP). Stone’s objective…

Writing a post in the aftermath of what happened on Friday, the 24th of June 2016, is an opportunity to reflect on what it takes to conduct an effective mediation process, and above all a constructive dialogue. Clearly this post is an insight on my own personal reflections to date. With the weeks ahead, I…

This post was prepared in cooperation with Bogdan Matei. Neutrality is one of the keystone concepts in the mediation process. When the mediator or the parties consider that the mediator’s neutrality is affected, a conflict of interest appears. It is well known that when a conflict of interests appears, in respect to the ethical rules…

Stream of consciousness is an amazing proof of mysteriousness of human thinking. So for instance, some thoughts on impertinence of email spammers may remind you to post on Kluwer Mediation Blog results of the Summer Mediation Game. On the first sight, those topics are not related. As you may see in the following lines, they…