Delayed Decisions = A Perception Of Doubt (Implications For Mediation?)

By: Donald L Swanson A 2014 study looks at how people make judgments, based on the time it takes others to reach a decision. [Fn. 1] The central finding of the study is this: Long decision times are viewed as evidence of the decision maker’s doubt; andOthers make decisions based on the degree of doubt perceived.... Continue Reading →

The Role of “Trust” in Mediation

By: Donald L Swanson Once a negative impression is formed about an individual, there is a tendency to view everything else about this person in negative terms. [Fn. 1] A Loss-of-“Trust” Story I remember mediating a commercial dispute, many years ago, between two parties: let’s call them Party A and Party B. One of the disputed... Continue Reading →

Friendliness Within Hostile Relationships–A Barrier to Negotiation?

A friendly fox? (Photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson A study of social behavior is titled, “Barriers to Transforming Hostile Relations: Why Friendly Gestures Can Backfire.”  [Fn. 1] The findings and implications of this study are significant for mediation and other negotiation contexts! Background & Essential Finding Everyone knows that friendliness builds rapport and... Continue Reading →

Mediating With Department Of Justice Of The U.S. Government: A Study

U.S. Government (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson We are focusing, here, on a mediation study titled, “Dispute Resolution and the Vanishing Trial: Comparing Federal Government Litigation and ADR Outcomes” (the "Vanishing Trial Study"). [Fn. 1] Some History & A Hypothesis A 2006 publication titled, “A World Without Trials,” documents a decline in the... Continue Reading →

The ADR Spectrum: Subchapter V Adds A New / Unique ADR Role

The ADR Spectrum By: Donald L Swanson Alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) has always referred to the use of a neutral third party to help resolve disputes.  But the recent addition of Subchapter V to the Bankruptcy Code has changed that.  I’ll try to explain. Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998 28 U.S.C. § 651(a) is part... Continue Reading →

Judge Kornreich: On Judicial Mediators And Private Mediators (An Interview) By: Donald L Swanson The above interview talks about mediators in general and about judicial mediators (i.e., a sitting judges) and private mediators more specifically; and it offers suggestions for practitioners on choosing a mediator. Hon. Louis H. Kornreich (Ret.) is well-qualified to speak on such matters because of his, (i) long and distinguished service... Continue Reading →

Study: Early Referrals To Mediation, With Opt-Out for Good Cause, Are Effective

A courthouse (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson When an opt-out for good cause exists, early referral of a case to mediation facilitates settlement. --This conclusion is from a “large sample” study of mediations involving the federal government as party defendant. The “large sample” study is reported as, “Dispute Resolution and the Vanishing Trial:... Continue Reading →

Hellenic Union of Mediators — Doing Excellent Work!

"Welcome to the website of the HELLENIC UNION OF MEDIATORS" (translation of first line in this photo) By: Donald L Swanson There are many people, around the world, doing excellent work in promoting the use of mediation as a dispute resolution tool. One such organization is the Hellenic Union of Mediators, located in Athens, Greece (the... Continue Reading →

Case Evaluation: An Effective ADR Process Under Michigan Law (Alemarah v. General Motors)

A Michigan rule of civil procedure By: Donald L. Swanson Mediation is the most commonly utilized, and a highly effective, method of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”). “Case evaluation” is another ADR process.  We don’t hear about it as much—but it is also effective. The State of Michigan has formalized a “case evaluation” process in its state... Continue Reading →

Mediation: Persisting Despite Early Failures (Kellogg v. Progressive)

Persisting through early failures (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L. Swanson “Failure” in a mediation is difficult to define.  For hypothetical examples: Is it a “failure” when a lawsuit fails to settle in a mediation session?Is it a “failure” when a lawsuit fails to settle in a second mediation session?Is it a “failure” when, (i)... Continue Reading →

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