You’re mediating an insurance matter. The angry and cynical male plaintiff wails, “They’re insulting me with this offer! But, what else should I expect from a f*****g insurance company!?” The “seen it all before” plaintiff’s lawyer wearily closes her laptop. “That’s it!”, she says. “We’re outta here unless you go back and get us a…

“I hold to the idea that civility, understood as the willingness to engage in public discourse, is the first virtue of citizens.” Mark Kingwell, The World We Want: Restoring Citizenship in a Fractured Age, [Rowman & Littlefield, 2000] A recent email from a US-based group that specialises in facilitating public dialogues in difficult cases noted…

Mediation can be seen as a tool that facilitates better decision-making, particularly in disputes, but not only. The simple tools are focusing on interests, looking for common ground and mutual understanding, creating options that might satisfy many interests, and then weighing up those options to reach a decision. These tools are very simple in theory,…

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…

(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…

The Kashmir valley in India is a stressed region and though older generations have ‘lived’ through some tense winters, this generation is not ready to ‘survive’ through the silence and indifference. Deaths are on the rise and if this constantly raging battle between the militants and the Indian administration is not addressed appropriately and immediately,…

“Odd as it may seem, I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me.” (Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, (2011: 390) This blog arises from my recent reading of Dr Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine, and What Matters in the End (2014). This might…

(This post is being republished because of technical problems when it was first published) The recently reported Australian case of Ku-ring-gai Council v Ichor Constructions Pty Ltd [2018] NSWSC 610 (8 May 2018) provides a useful lesson in how not to conduct the hybrid Arb-Med-Arb process, from which (I hope) we might learn how to…