Do We Ask And Expect Too Much From Mediation? (A Fourth Circuit Mediation Order)

By Donald L. Swanson Sometimes, mediation is asked and expected to do a lot. And sometimes mediation is asked and expected to do more than it can actually perform: i.e., many puzzles and problems defy solution. A new mediation order out of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals asks and hopes for a lot from... Continue Reading →

Mediation in New Zealand — A Study on How It’s Done

By: Donald L. Swanson Sometimes it’s helpful, in understanding our own situation, to look at someone else’s. Mediation is a common tool for resolving commercial disputes in New Zealand.  A 2017 study of mediation in New Zealand reveals how it's done there: “From Anecdote to Evidence: The New Zealand Commercial Mediation Market [Fn. 1]. General Findings... Continue Reading →

Are Emotional Arguments Helpful or Harmful in Mediating Commercial Disputes?

By: Donald L Swanson Settlement = Assessment of Risks + Math I made up this unsophisticated formula decades ago to explain what happens when a negotiated settlement occurs in a commercial dispute. What I’ve found, since then, is that the formula holds true in the vast majority of cases—even when emotions and tempers are on edge.... Continue Reading →

Caucus Inadequacy and the Joint Session Solution for Multi-Party Mediations

  By: Donald L Swanson Let’s say that a mediation among four parties or more is a “multi-party” mediation. Caucus Inadequacy Here’s how a caucus format works—inadequately—in a mediation among four parties: the mediation starts at 9:00 a.m. with a half-hour joint session to set the rules and format, whereupon, the parties split into sequestered conference... Continue Reading →

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