I wrote this piece for Strathclyde Mediation Clinic after a series of conversations with new and learner mediators. Some surprised me with their passivity in the face of parties’ lack of knowledge or understanding. After some probing I learned that many new mediators recognise the problem but believe the model they were taught prohibits them…

The deeply-felt norm of conducting mediation on a single day is eroding as everyone adjusts to the realities of the coronavirus crisis and people appreciate the benefits of spreading out the process over time. This post describes the evolution around the world to what I have called “planned early multi-stage mediation.” One-Day Mediations For many…

Entering into a cathedral or court of law, before listening to the music, the words, or indeed before taking in very much at all, one is generally struck by the architecture of the building, the rising columns, the soaring roof, or just the sense of solemnity the place evokes. There was a reason they were…

Photo credit: Creative Commons Jean M.Mas 2/2007 Although my mediation training made no mention of it, 32 years of mediating have taught me that mediations generally unfold over two stages: Stage 1: “Who Did What to Whom”? Here parties (or their lawyers) follow the ritual of naming, blaming and claiming – recounting facts, providing evidence…

Time Limited Mediation

“It is pointless to do with more what can be done with fewer.” William of Ockham A colleague recently asked me to present a workshop to employment mediators on ‘Time Limited Mediation.’ Until that moment, like Molière’s bourgeois gentleman realising he’s been speaking prose all his life, it hadn’t occurred to me that this was…

The Dilemma: At an initial private meeting with a lawyer and his lay client in a mediation, it became obvious to the mediator that he had previously mediated in a matter which was related to the present dispute, the outcome of which was not known to the present parties. In the mediator’s view, it had…

My guess is that most of my fellow authors on this blog, and probably a high proportion of readers, work in a mediation environment is which clients are represented by counsel. Indeed, if you track back over a number of entries in which matters of process are discussed, it seems typically assumed that counsel are…

Much has been said and written about the demise of the joint meeting in mediation. In my experience, such a view is premature and, I fear, is potentially wasteful of the power that mediation brings for creative problem-solving. I am also aware of how much the clients and others appreciate a creative approach to the…

A whole day of mediation without a “joint meeting”. The only time the lawyers met was to begin drafting the settlement agreement. The experts played no part. The day before, the principals had exchanged correspondence deprecating perceived personal insults directed at professional advisers which, it was felt, had damaged reputations. This was a long-running commercial…