The Problem of the Small Cheat

By: Donald L Swanson Q. “Your boss is quite a card player, Kelly. How does he do it?” A. “He cheats.” --From, “The Sting.” An essay [Fn. 1] explores the cheating exploits of a London-area grocer from back in the early 1600s. In particular, it explores this question: --How did he get away with it? Francis... Continue Reading →

Tough Guys Finish Last In Negotiations (A Study)

Finishes last? (Photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Negotiators consider, (i) the reputation of the opposition, in an effort to decrease uncertainty, and (ii) their own reputations, recognizing that past behaviors can influence future efforts. A study examines the effects of a negotiator’s tough guy reputation on negotiation processes (fn. 1, the “Study”). Distributive... Continue Reading →

Mediation Development In Europe: Progress & Problems (A Report)

A symbol of European progress? (Photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Non-judicial forms of dispute resolution are widespread in legal systems, (i) within the western legal tradition, or (ii) based on religion and tradition. Further, over the past 50 years, mediation has found a prominent place in legal systems based on the rule of... Continue Reading →

The Benefits Of Conflict (A Study)

Conflict? By: Donald L Swanson “conflict has its own advantages and can be productive.” --From “Benefits of Conflict” [Fn. 1]. The “Benefits of Conflict” study shows how international conflicts “can be beneficial” for the countries in conflict. Moreover, the study's findings and conclusions may have merit in the context of inter-personal relations and mediation as well.... Continue Reading →

Effective Mediation in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka on the map By: Donald L Swanson Mediation has occurred for centuries—and millennia—in various forms, all across the world. What follows is a summary of information on the effective use of mediation in today’s Sri Lanka.[Fn. 1] Legal Framework Sri Lanka has a history of mediation, running back to the times of ancient kingdoms,... Continue Reading →

Sanctions For Failing To Attend Mediation — Vacated And Remanded (Miller v. Midland)

A vacant seat at the mediation? (Photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson “We cannot glean whether the District Court’s outrage at Plaintiff’s attorneys stemmed from a belief that the attorneys acted in bad faith, or that they acted negligently.” --From Miller v. Midland Credit Management, Inc., Case No. 20-13390 (11th Cir., issued September 17,... Continue Reading →

What To Do With A Mediated Settlement After Breach? (Rivera v. Sharp)

Schrödinger’s cat? (Photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Defendants see “both an unenforceable settlement and a binding unilateral agreement simultaneously emerging, like Schrödinger's cat,” from their lawsuit with Plaintiff, but “only one exists” and “the District Court did not err in finding the settlement agreement valid.” --From Rivera v. Sharp, Case No. 21-2254, at... Continue Reading →

Face-To-Face Discussions: Studies Show It’s The Best And Most-Popular Way To Mediate

Face-to-face discussions (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Common Practice. A common practice in these United States is for commercial lawsuits to be mediated in a caucus-only format.  That means: the parties never see each other during the mediation, except during the mediator’s opening comments and on visits to the toilet; andthe mediator shuttles... Continue Reading →

Reputation For Honesty = Protection Against Deception In Negotiations (A Study)

Honest Abe (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson A negotiator’s reputation for honesty minimizes the danger of being deceived. That’s the finding of a recent study. [Fn. 1, the “Study”] Background  Reputations endow negotiators with a set of expectations about their intentions and behaviors, influence interpretations of their behavior, and impact response to their... Continue Reading →

Good Faith In A Mandated Mediation: Are Contempt and Sanctions Appropriate? (In re A.T. Reynolds)

Contempt of the rules of road? (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson “the specter of sanctions and contempt spawns ancillary litigation that often eclipses the issues at the heart of the underlying dispute.” --From In re A.T. Reynolds & Sons, Inc., 452 B.R. 374, 376 (S.D.N.Y. 2011), reversing a Bankruptcy Court order of contempt... Continue Reading →

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