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Archive for March, 2014


The Second Course Part 2: Interests

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

The interests are often not easily bundled into a list, or clearly called out, but are often lurking below the surface. The mediator/neutral and the principal party will usually engage in a dialogue or an “appreciative inquiry” of understanding why the client is taking a certain view or position on an issue in order to get to the underlying interests. One instructive example involved an electric...

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The Second Course Part 1: Focusing on the “Why” of Mediation

Posted on March 19, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

Interests At the start of a second day of mediation, the utility executive states “ We are prepared to leave the mediation if there is any more talk about interests.” How do you respond to this demand? We just completed a session delving into legal theory, facts, and argument in an attorney driven dialogue that permitted the decision makers at the table to quickly assess risk about its case. Now...

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The First Course: Legal Discussion and Counsel During Mediation

Posted on March 12, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

Legal Discussion – Counsel In our previous message we discussed setting the table and having all parties and counsel prepared for the mediation session. Proper and efficient preparation brings a sense of ownership and pride so that each participant understands its roles and anxieties are lifted about what to expect during the session. We have all seen too often in mediation when counsel steps into...

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Setting the Table: Understanding Bob Mnookin’s Perspective on Mediation

Posted on March 5, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

Professor Bob Mnookin succeeded Roger Fisher at the turn of the millennium at Harvard. Professor Mnookin, along with Professors Gary Friedman and Jack Himmelfarb, have brought a perspective on mediation that very few traditional practitioners have either learned or adopted. The core principle in this teaching is the blending of a series of table talks into a comprehensive and intensive mediation session...

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