I was recently given an extraordinary birthday present: a day at the Nick Nairn Cook School (www.nicknairncookschool.com). Nick Nairn is one of Scotland’s most famous celebrity chefs, known for his respect for traditional Scottish fare, and as something of a foody I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday. I wasn’t disappointed….

It is a fact of life that lawyers will be involved in many mediations, particularly where they involve litigation matters. Despite initial reluctance to embrace mediation, the tide is turning as Sabine Walsh explains in her posting, Of Turkeys and Christmas – The Role of Lawyers in Mediation. A specialised form of legal practice is…

I recently came across a new word – new to me, at least, which was irritating because I pride myself on having a pretty good vocabulary. The word is “Chaordic”. To quote Wikipedia, “The portmanteau chaordic refers to a system of governance that blends characteristics of chaos and order”. The term was apparently coined in…

Yes I do –  and as I stood 4th in line outside Dick Smith’s (read  PC World or Radio Shack) at 5am Friday week ago waiting to get my hands on my first iPad I resolved to make the iPad 3 central to my practice. The guy next to me had been on the TV…

In mediation, the art of the mediator is to lead the mediation participants to the best possible solution of their conflict, based on their underlying interests. It is the art of seduction to shift the focus from their points of view and desired outcomes to interests, and also from the escalation-driven wish to “win” and…

In my capacity as a trainer and educator of mediators, I am frequently asked about entry into the mediation profession: “Once I pass my accreditation assessment, I want to become a full-time mediator…” The mediation training market continues to boom, confirming a continuing strong interest in mediation as a career path. However the supply of…

With all the surrounding pomp and pageantry particularly in the African culture, seating through a wedding ceremony by couple could be quite splendid. Optimisms are usually high as couple fantasize about a future of possibilities for each other and their children. In contrast, seating through a child custody legal battle can be quite horrific as…

There is a short period of time in any difficult mediation where the tension escalates and tough negotiation decisions have to be made. Some people call this a ‘do or die’ moment. Its like the last vote in the Supreme Court in Gore v. Bush. Or its Tiger Woods chipping in from the fringe of…

It is not uncommon to hear lawyers speak warmly of mediation in general, but when asked if they would recommend it for a particular case respond that they could not see it working. Related to this, lawyers who have developed well-honed negotiation skills may struggle to see how a mediator could improve on their outcomes….

These days, I don’t go to that many mediation conferences. I haven’t lost my interest or passion for mediation, I just find that the conferences are all full of mediators talking to mediators. And while some of my best friends are mediators, I don’t need a conference to talk to them. The harsh truth is…