This is where I did my best work in Christmas week – in the twilight zone between the joint session room to the right of the water cooler and the private caucus room off to the left by the green bins. Corridors can be furtive and risky spaces on mediation days – ‘don’t ask me…

What constitutes effective mediation advocacy? Litigation lawyers in an ever-increasing number of jurisdictions around the world understand that mediation is becoming or has become the primary dispute resolution forum and thereforenaturally are interested in acquiring and enhancing the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively represent their clients in the mediation process. Earlier this year the…

This week I spoke to a group of young legal practitioners here in New Zealand. I aimed low and went back to source. I suspect I got more of a kick out of it than anyone at the session. So, mediators, look away. There is nothing new here. But users, occasional or repeat, I hope these three…

From next Monday, 9th September, the brand new Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) (www.isi.gov.ie) will begin accepting applications for recourse to new debt resolution mechanisms which have been created by the Personal Insolvency Act, 2012 which became law on 26th December 2012. This long overdue response to the increasing levels of personal and property-related debt…

Sorry (as we Canadians tend to say a lot). I’m A few days late with this post as I’ve been vacationing in London U.K. with my wife and 14-year old daughter. (Wonderful time, thanks). Today is my first day back in the office after the two weeks away and I’m sure readers will know what…

Much has been written about the impact of body language on communication. I have in a previous entry addressed the connection between non-verbal communication and the building of rapport. While body language is the commonly used term, I prefer the term non-verbal communication for two reasons. First, the term “body language” is a metaphor that…

Not so long ago I was a claiming party as part of a group of plaintiffs in the stead of my elderly parents in a multiparty, multimillion dollar mediation. Now, I mediate around 120 mediations every year as a commercial mediator here in New Zealand so it was with a mix of personal apprehension and professional curiosity…

[Author’s Warning: This entry involves references to and discussions about the system of Cartesian Coordinates and how it might assist mediators in reality testing and reframing. Readers with a Math Phobia are advised to proceed with cautious abandonment.] [Author’s postscript: As I finish writing this, it becomes increasingly clear to me that some readers may…

Another new mediation venture in Scotland: last week saw the launch of University of Strathclyde Mediation Clinic (http://www.strath.ac.uk/humanities/lawschool/mediationclinic/ ). While by no means a new idea, it’s the first in this jurisdiction. The response took us by surprise. We were graced with the presence of the University’s Principal, a judge, lawyers, sponsors, advice agencies, academics…

Most mediators I know graduated from the Facilitative School of Mediation – and we could spend much ink here debating exactly what that means but to my mind we were essentially taught to own the process and butt out of the outcome. Recently there have been a number of calls for mediators to do more – more what is…