This note is a response to, and affirmation of the idea behind Bill Marsh’s provocative notion that the best mediators and negotiators smoke. Of course, in these non-smoking times, we couldn’t possibly agree with the apparent endorsement of smoking and yet the underlying idea Bill conveys is an important one – about the structure of…

A human resources manager recently asked me for a general list of reasons why a mediation might not settle. While part of me wanted to question the idea of settlement as the goal of mediation (see Alan Gross’s excellent piece ‘Agreement Not the Gold Standard for Mediation – http://www.mediate.com/articles/GrossA3.cfm ) most of me thought this…

A recently reported decision of the Ontario Superior Court highlights the efficacy of the mediation process in resolving complex disputes particularly in circumstances where uncertainty of outcome reigns supreme.  In Johnston v. The Shelia Morrison Schools, 2013 ONSC 1528 Justice Perell was asked to approve a settlement in an Action which had been certified under…

A potpourri of mediation-related reflections as the holiday break fades from memory. Hockey Mediation – With last Saturday’s puck drops in 13 cities the National Hockey League has commenced its lockout-shortened season. Full arenas around the league confirm the strength of the game’s drawing power if not the forgive-and-forget sentiments of long-suffering fans. Readers of this…

Edinburgh is one of the world’s top tourist attractions. To quote its own website “Edinburgh is an multi-award-winning, world-class tourist destination. A must-see cultural capital. From stunning skylines to sandy beaches, festivals to fireworks – the city has something for everyone, day and night.” So, it can hardly have been good for business when, during…

It is not often that one has the satisfaction of witnessing mediation attracting so much public attention as has been the case lately in Canada and the US. All this thanks to Mediator, Scot Beckenbaugh, credited for his ‘extraordinary contribution’ to resolve the NHL Lockout dispute. Some observers have already nominated Mr. Beckenbaugh for the…

Down here in New Zealand it’s high summer and most of the country will spend until the end of January at the beach. I remember, when I was still at my law firm 10 years ago, the feeling of brief respite at this time of year before having to put on my boots again and trudge…

As much as we might like mediation’s fluid and often intangible nature, every now and then it can be of benefit to come across some research which enables us to take a step back and look at the impact our work is having on our clients, even long after the execution of the Memorandum of…

I’ve been working in this field for more than 20 years and one thing that I’ve observed with genuine curiosity over that time is the sniping from various quarters that what I (and others with practices similar to mine) do each day falls short of “The Promise of Mediation”. As readers of this Blog will…

Professions (and hence professionals) are both blessed and cursed with high expectations. The upside is clear: the public expects high standards, expertise and care, and in return is prepared to pay handsomely. The downside typically involves disciplinary sanctions against those not measuring up to those standards, although issues of probity rather than competence tend to…