“The last great act of a courageous leader is to let go,” I suggested to the CEO as he pondered whether this was in fact a good time to step down. He had many reasons not to leave. He attributed these to other people’s needs for a good transition, giving him a decent send-off, planning…

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,…

Quite often, we hear mediators and mediation trainers using the fable of “Blind Men and an Elephant”, which is a story about several blind persons describing an elephant differently out of their own experience by way of their respective touches of the different parts of the same elephant, to illustrate that a party’s own interpretation…

Artificial Intelligence (AI), the notion that computerised systems can replace human thought processes and interactions, continues to gain traction in all areas of life including the legal profession and in particular in the field of dispute resolution. Lex Machina, a Data-mining computer programme created at Stanford University in 2006, has been used to look for…

On 25 July 2018, I was privileged to be part of a conference panel moderated by the inimitable Professor Nadja Alexander, CEO of the Singapore International Dispute Resolution Academy and my colleague at the Singapore Management University School of Law. The panel’s inspired title was “Feel the Earth Move – Shifts in the International Dispute…

(This post is being republished because of technical problems when it was first published.) One of the key debates among mediators centres on the word ‘evaluation’. I’ve written about this before – see Has the evaluative label outlived its usefulness? I’m sure many readers are familiar, even bored, with the claimed polarity between facilitative and…

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…

It’s August and I’m cooking up some Stone Soup. What I’m actually doing is finalizing the syllabus, lesson plans, lecture notes, readings, guest speaker list and slide decks.  The materials are for my Mediation Theory and Practice seminar at the University of Ottawa Law School starting in September. (Thank goodness for the last minute, otherwise…

(This post is being republished because of technical problems when it was first published). Studying and teaching with Professor Frank E.A. Sander at Harvard in the late 80’s was life changing. The energy and vision he showed – going right back to his presentation at the 1976 Pound Conference – persuaded me that fundamental changes…