I have been musing about what a mediator might say to President Putin given the opportunity. That led me to compose a letter a few weeks ago, with which I have since tinkered. This is merely a thought experiment. The letter goes something like this: “Dear President Putin I write as a mediator, a peacemaker….

Lawyer making opening statement in mediation

“The world is made, not found.” (W Barnet Pearce) I had been a mediator for about 10 years before I heard parties’ initial words described as their “opening statement.” This may surprise some readers, though probably not if they began, like me, in family mediation, nor community or workplace. Other descriptions are available, as our…

It was Thursday, February 24th, 2022. From the morning, I had been mediating a dispute between a grandfather and two of his granddaughters. Then, during the break, I switched on my phone and read the news. Very shocking news. As a person that has spent all his professional life bringing peace and understanding to the…

Effective inter-governmental relations among the constituent parts of the United Kingdom are essential in an era of increased devolution of powers, post-Brexit allocation of responsibility and contested narratives about the future of the (uncodified) UK constitution. Background One of the rather depressing aspects of the constitutional impasse in the UK is that inter-governmental relations (IGR)…

List of Must-Read Books for Every Negotiator Let me introduce you to my new project. I would like to put together a list of five books every negotiator must-read. And when doing this, I do not have in mind works directly related to negotiation and/or mediation such as Getting to Yes by Roger D. Fisher…

John Sturrock and I recently had the pleasure of contributing a session on game theory and mediation to a workshop on global conflict and dispute resolution hosted by the Delhi Metropolitan Education College. Preparing for the event led me to reflect further on game theory and its relationship to mediation. In summary, game theory analyses…

While it is obvious that law is significant in legal disputes, how the law is used is not so obvious. This piece uses Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous definition of the law as “prophecies of what the courts will do in fact,” rather than rules expressed in statutes, case law etc. It discusses two aspects of…

I was delighted to be approached to collaborate on this post by Dima Alexandrova, mediator and attorney-at-Law, founder of AdimaLaw practice in Sofia Bulgaria. She has experience in the ICC Paris and other competitions both as a participant, judge and coach. She has some interesting ideas to assist students in such competitions to make best…

“Managing a Client’s expectations and advising them on a course of action turned out to be far more difficult than negotiating with the other Party.” So wrote newly-minted Indian lawyer Varsha Manoj about her experiences negotiating with her clients. Many lawyers in the US and other countries undoubtedly have similar experiences. Legal clients often experience…