Posted on May 24, 2013
From a practical perspective, it would be naļve to assume that opposing counsel hasn’t already ?Googled? your client looking for incriminating information, particularly on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. But many Facebook and Twitter users consider their information … Continue reading →
Posted on May 20, 2013
Like most (if not all) other mediators, I begin my opening statement by explaining that I am a neutral party tasked with facilitating the parties’ settlement discussions. But what exactly does ?neutral? mean? Even within the mediation literature, neutrality is … Continue reading →
Posted on May 16, 2013
My father still loves to tell the story about the time he and his friend John painted my grandmother’s (his mother-in-law’s) house in the early 1970′s. My father and his friend John are retired high school teachers and administrators...
Posted on May 10, 2013
There is a common misconception among negotiators and attorneys alike that one should never make the first offer. In most negotiations the parties are unclear about the other party’s motives, needs and interests and fear that they might will ?give … Continue reading →
Posted on May 07, 2013
You’ve probably had someone tell you, ?Never make a decision on an empty stomach,? or you’ve heard an old proverb like, ?An empty stomach has no ears.? It turns out that there is scientific evidence to support the link between … Continue reading →
Posted on May 01, 2013
As mediation has become a staple of the litigation process, certain conventions have arisen, for better or worse. Most mediations now adjourn to caucus immediately after the joint session, leaving you a limited window to directly address the other side...
Posted on April 29, 2013
In his seminal book Influence, Robert Cialdini recounts a study by two Canadian researchers of bettors at a racetrack. The researchers found that the bettors became far more confident in their choice of horse immediately after placing their bets, despite … Continue reading →
Posted on April 25, 2013
?It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.? –Oliver Wendell Holmes As lawyers, it is often difficult for us to shut off that part of the brain that is trained to … Continue reading →
Posted on April 22, 2013
Parties typically walk into a mediation with a starting position, a walk-away position and an idea of what range within which they feel comfortable resolving the case, i.e., their bargaining range. Settlement can typically be reached when both parties’ bargaining … Continue reading →
Posted on April 19, 2013
Trust the Process At some point in nearly every mediation I am asked, ?Can’t we just cut to the chase?? Sometimes, this frustration emerges early, other times it appears much later in the day. When that occurs, I typically ask … Continue reading →
Posted on April 16, 2013
It may seem like a proposition straight out of your first year Contracts class, but two recent Court of Appeals decisions have reinforced the necessity both to put any agreement reached at mediation in writing and to have all the … Continue reading →
Posted on April 12, 2013
One of my guilty pleasures is the History Channel reality show Pawn Stars. If you are not familiar with the show, it follows the Harrison family, proprietors of the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. On camera, the … Continue reading →
Posted on April 10, 2013
Effective mediation advocates prepare their cases in advance. They discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their positions, as well as settlement options, with their clients. They draft their opening statement and consider their first move carefully. They bring key documents … Continue reading →
Posted on April 05, 2013
Mediation Tips: The Importance of Acceptance Time One element of mediation I often see parties overlook is the concept of ?acceptance time? – the time necessary for a person to come to terms with a new idea. To a great … Continue reading →
Posted on March 07, 2013
All too often, one side in a mediation or negotiation feels as if they have no bargaining power. In many instances this ?weaker? party ends up focusing on their weakness and relinquishes what little power they do have. While you may not be able to avoid a position of weakness, there are still some strategies [...
Posted on March 07, 2013
Dividing Personal Property During a recent marketing lunch, an attorney asked me how I have dealt with hotly contested personal property division. I explained that, for better or worse, my family law mediation practice has largely been devoid of couples spending hours arguing over personal property...
Posted on May 27, 2010
Up til now, I’ve considered Facebook one of those distractions that keep me from doing otherwise necessary work, like marketing, or filing. But the time has come to try to expand my digital presence, and I’ve created a Facebook page for CKA Mediation and Arbitration Services...
Posted on May 27, 2010
I know my post count has reached an all time low, but I have been busy with the more practical aspects of my practice. On Monday, I settled a unique personal injury matter after a full day of deliberations, discussions and a certain amount of cajoling...
Posted on March 23, 2010
On Monday, a unanimous Georgia Supreme Court overturned one of the more controversial elements of the state’s 2005 Tort Reform act – a cap of $350,000 on “non-economic” damages (known better to you and me as “pain and suffering”)...
Posted on March 04, 2010
Even though it is considered a civic duty and essential part of the Anglo-American Common Law system since 1215, nobody sane really enjoys jury duty. You are paid a measly stipend to be treated like a mushroom. And now it seems the mushrooms are revolting...
Posted on February 25, 2010
Two sides sit across a table. They are faced with a major problem. Both are adamant that their position is the strongest. They’ve bickered and argued for months, creating a stalemate that has caused considerable damage to their business, their reputations, their relationships, as well as their future ability to work together...
Posted on February 19, 2010
I released my latest report/newsletter yesterday to several hundred friends, clients and prospective clients. You can find a web-based version of it here. I hope you find the tips useful the next time you mediate.
Posted on February 15, 2010
I recently came across this article noting that “there has been a 30 per cent rise in the number of mediations between neighbors over animal nuisance problems” in the Australian province of New South Wales. On the one hand, I was glad to hear that parties are turning to mediation to solve disputes and [...
Posted on February 11, 2010
I’ve heard it said that it is a sad dog that doesn’t wag his own tail, so here I am wagging. I just posted some new testimonials on my site. Here are some excerpts:
“I was amazed we accomplished what we did.”
“Chris’ calm and confident demeanor helped my clients and the opposing parties avoid the [...
Posted on February 04, 2010
After a nearly three month hiatus, it might be time for me to start blogging again. I hope to post at least weekly. I think that I can manage that. Since I really have nothing terribly substantial to say right now, I will start with a funny story that a good friend told me I [...
Posted on February 04, 2010
When we last left our hero (me), I was dealing with the pro se party from hell. It took three different conversations with both me and the ADR office just to confirm whether he would even appear at the mediation.
The only two things he made clear were that he wasn’t gonna pay me and he [...
Posted on October 26, 2009
Sometimes, my job is somewhat humorous, which is a relief because a lot of the time I am dealing with people in stressful situations. Every time I come home with one of these stories, my lovely wife suggests that I save them and write a book. Maybe someday I will do that...
Posted on October 21, 2009
Once again, I am honored and humbled by the recognition of my colleagues in the ADR blogging community. Please take some time to visit Sandra Upchurch and her excellent blog at http://uwwm.blogspot.com/.
And once again, it reminds me that I need to get back to writing...
Posted on October 02, 2009
I need a new car. Not because I want one. Not because I want to give up a perfectly reliable, good looking, completely paid off car, but because someone T-boned us on Peachtree Street last Saturday. My neck, shoulders and upper back have been sore all week, and Melissa has a bruised knee and seat [...