Although infrequent, court cases against mediators are illuminating, helping us avoid being dragged into court ourselves. Here’s an example In Tapoohi v Lewenberg & Ors (No 2) [2003] VSC 410, the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, considered it arguable that a mediator owes a duty of care to the disputants. The mediated dispute This was…

You are usually at a disadvantage for you will take over the boat in midst of the conflict storm without having the chance to prepare the crew and to check on the ship. Yet you are charged to navigate the vessel through all perils of misunderstandings, mistrust, and perceptions. It takes time to make sure…

I wish to add to Michael Leathes’ recent post on his suggestion that more field-based research be done into the mediation product and Rick Weiler’s follow-up. There are really two distinct questions here. One relates to whether, with enough real-world research, we can put mediation in a nice box with a ribbon around it and…

Time Limited Mediation

“It is pointless to do with more what can be done with fewer.” William of Ockham A colleague recently asked me to present a workshop to employment mediators on ‘Time Limited Mediation.’ Until that moment, like Molière’s bourgeois gentleman realising he’s been speaking prose all his life, it hadn’t occurred to me that this was…

Michael Leathes in his recent  thought provoking post argues for the need for more “field-based” mediation research by which he means actual observations of the live action by skilled researchers.  He poses the questions: “Has the mediation world spent too long developing lab-based facts to suit its theories? Might it start to hone new theories…

Early in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1891 short story A Scandal in Bohemia, Sherlock Holmes gives Watson a lecture on the difference between seeing and observing. To test how well Watson understood, Holmes hands him an unaddressed, undated, anonymous letter that had just arrived on the doormat. It announced that an unnamed visitor would shortly…

The Dilemma: At an initial private meeting with a lawyer and his lay client in a mediation, it became obvious to the mediator that he had previously mediated in a matter which was related to the present dispute, the outcome of which was not known to the present parties. In the mediator’s view, it had…

[Picture credit: creative commons]

[Picture credit: creative commons] Court cases not only determine issues between litigating parties, they provide guidance for others facing similar situations. For mediators and for disputants alike, they can help us identify and avoid difficulties we might not have previously contemplated. Here’s one example In Robert Samuel McCosh v David A R Williams [2003] NZCA 192,…

“As they sometimes say around Kyoto, ‘Don’t just do something. Sit there.’” The Art of Stillness, Pico Iyer Recently I had the good fortune of watching fellow blogger, John Sturrock QC, mediate. In the days which have followed, I’ve been reflecting on what I learnt from observing the mediation. What helped the parties in this…