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…

As mediators, we spend much of our time contrasting mediation with, and distancing ourselves from, litigation. Before your eyes glaze over, that is not for this post. Instead, this post draws out one of the many similarities between mediation and litigation, especially when mediating a litigated case. Mediation has, some would say unfortunately, become a more…

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…

As the year comes to an end, I am expanding upon a story to which I referred in a previous blog, in the hope that it may provide a couple of useful reminders of what we do as mediators. I had eaten a chicken curry rather hastily at the hotel where I had been mediating…

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…

Like all businesses, mediation ultimately depends upon (and needs to reflect) what the users want from it. That doesn’t of course mean that theirs in the only relevant perspective – mediators also have views on what the process can and should offer. But at the very least it’s a vital part of the equation (I…

As I have proudly published in several articles last year, Brazil has come a long way until it finally managed get its first Mediation Law into force. Find below a brief historic to remember this path: • 2004 – Start of the Judiciary Reform • 2010 – Ordinance No. 125 creates the National Judiciary Policy…

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…

Savvy litigators often tell their clients that “a bad settlement always beats a good litigation”. That may be partly because there is embarrassingly scant guidance in the literature, or even in the world’s law schools, on how lawyers can help their clients settle well rather than badly. I recently had the honor of writing the…

Students demonstrating cooperation

Morton Deutsch, the great social psychologist of common sense, explained the difference between competition and cooperation thus: “if you’re positively linked with another, then you sink or swim together; with negative linkage, if the other sinks, you swim, and if the other swims, you sink.”1)Cooperation and Competition. In M. Deutsch, P. T. Coleman, & E….