Pollyanna/pɒlɪˈanə/ noun/an excessively cheerful or optimistic person. “what I am saying makes me sound like some ageing Pollyanna who just wants to pretend that all is sweetness and light” Every mediator has been called a Pollyanna at some time or other, usually when encouraging those in conflict that resolution is just around the corner – and often in that…

Bloomberg (not my usual reading fodder, I confess) carried an interesting piece a couple of months ago, entitled “Meet the Real Force Behind the Brexit Talks”. Yes, it was about Brexit (yawn) but it was about an unseen side of the negotiations. Opening with the line “In every negotiation the most important work is done…

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…

Much has been said and written about the demise of the joint meeting in mediation. In my experience, such a view is premature and, I fear, is potentially wasteful of the power that mediation brings for creative problem-solving. I am also aware of how much the clients and others appreciate a creative approach to the…

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…

This post is in part a roundabout response to Constantin-Adi Gavrila’s recent Kluwer mediation blog, in which he writes about a conversation with a friend who was convinced that all mediators need to be lawyers. The argument goes that to mediate you need to be a qualified lawyer, have legal knowledge of the disputed matter,…

“Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar” “Traveller, there is no path, the path must be forged as you walk.” Antonio Machado, as quoted and translated in Daring Greatly, Brene Brown Those were two very long and eventful days. Though the prospect of reaching an agreement appeared remote – at best – at…

“Mediation” in some Criminal Cases Recently (24th June 2015) a Judge of the Madras High Court (India) while hearing a bail appeal of a man convicted of raping a young girl, agreed to the bail request on condition that the man try “mediation” with the victim.1)http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/madras-hc-gives-bail-to-rape-convict-to-mediate-with-victim/article1-1362173.aspx Mediation is aimed at marriage. “The case before us is…

Market resistance to the use of joint sessions is best illustrated by data from a survey of JAMS neutrals conducted in April 2015. 76% of JAMS’s 300-plus neutrals responded, and the data show both a decline in the use of joint sessions, and a clear discrepancy between East and West Coasts. 80% of neutrals surveyed…