My wife and I recently spent a very convivial evening at the beautiful home in Sydney of leading Australian mediator Alan Limbury and his wife, Dr. Rosemary Howell, who coaches a team from the University of New South Wales in the annual ICC mediation competition. One topic which stimulated some forthright conversation was the use…

This post is unlikely to win me friends on America’s West Coast and it may even see my US mediation teaching visa withdrawn, however when the issue even has its own Facebook group called Save the Mediation Joint Session and Promote Party Participation with over 50 of the world’s top mediators signed up, then the patient is more critical than I thought. The rise…

I have never been a great fan of mediator’s proposals. I took the view that the mediator’s job, done well, was to help the parties to come to a solution themselves. Party autonomy and all that. Achieving a satisfactory outcome, I thought, shouldn’t require a specific suggestion by the mediator. I have changed my view….

At the risk of being accused of being too much of a purist, I just have to have a little grumble about the latest misappropriation of the term mediation. All involved in promoting and encouraging the use of mediation know how one of the largest barriers to people availing of this process is the lack…

Mediators deal in words – not exclusively, but a great deal (and perhaps sometimes too much, but that’s another blog). So it pays for us to think carefully about what words really mean. A couple of years ago, I came across an article entitled “US facilitation yes, mediation no: Omar”. It detailed how Pakistan, through…

Recently I have noticed mediators using a label to describe other people’s practice. It is rarely a compliment. That label is “evaluative”; as in “she takes rather an evaluative approach” or “his background as a lawyer leads him to be evaluative.” More subtly, “We are firmly committed to the facilitative model” (and, by implication, not…

Faithful readers will recall my posts here and here mentioning the failed mediation relating to the international effort to reach an agreement on the distribution of some $9 Billion in assets remaining from the Nortel insolvency. The Ontario Courts are now struggling with the fallout from that failed mediation. This week saw the release of…

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…

In what I hope readers of this blog will consider a deft segue, I want to shift from the successful judicial mediation that I highlighted last month to one that didn’t proceed quite so smoothly. Deals negotiated in mediation tend to hold or, at least, that’s been the conventional wisdom. The theory is that because…

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…