Helping businesses solve issues through mediation, arbitration and other alternative problem-solving processes.

Author Archive

Arbitration Tips for Counsel

Posted on July 2, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

One of the most thoughtful and helpful projects undertaken for the arbitration community is the “Protocols for Expeditious, Cost Effective Commercial Arbitration,”  produced by the  College of Commercial Arbitrators with many of our world’s top arbitrators participating in the drafting and editing. One key section that I want to highlight is focused on counsel’s preparation.  It is true...

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All The Above – Does It Matter?

Posted on June 25, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

In mediation parlance the “All the Above” question has been debated like the chicken and the egg – except most mediators would say that humanity has been mediating even before the chicken.  The question pertains to the manner and fashion that some mediators adhere to a particular style of practice – almost in a fundamentalist way.  Why should consumers of mediation care? In an ABA Commercial...

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Coral, Port Arthur and Dispute Resolution

Posted on June 18, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

Over the past 2 weeks I have had the privilege of viewing the most beautiful colors and shapes of coral that make up the Great Barrier Reef — nearly the size of the US Pacific Coast. I also had the opportunity to travel with my family to Port Arthur, one of the first penal colonies in Australia where the British established their rule in the late 1800′s.  Both diverse regions showed...

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How does Dispute Resolution fit into an “All of the Above” Energy Policy?

Posted on June 5, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

In this one man’s opinion, this question is critical. If we are going to succeed in becoming energy independent, as well as a resource to Western Europe during trying times with Russia, and stewards over the earth; ensuring a safe and toxin free environment for generations that follow, we must understand ADR. The question is critical in this one man’s opinion if we are going to succeed in...

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How Does a Family Business Dispute Differ from a Commercial Business Dispute?

Posted on May 21, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

Every dispute is subject to an understanding of the law. The law presents a clear framework and factual background of each dispute. Understanding the law helps us form both the contractual/business context and the relationships that reveal the way individuals react in times of stress. This relationship piece is often times magnified in family business matters and closely held corporations, even when...

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Distinguishing Discovery

Posted on April 23, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

  In the arbitration context, discovery requests vary greatly, none wider than the U.S. and European practice areas. At its heart, European practitioners have sculpted a discovery and arbitral process that is generally quicker and less expensive than US models. The European practice around discovery is focused on document requests and in turn careful analysis that drives the order of witnesses,...

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Why Spend So Much Effort in Preparing for the Preliminary Hearing

Posted on April 16, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

The Preliminary Hearing shapes the integrity and success of the entire dispute process. How parties prepare for an arbitral hearing, and how opposing counsel work together to clear through as many issues in advance of the hearing as possible, will shape the course of a successful prelim and provide the foundation for a solid and fair outcome. First and foremost, which you have probably accomplished...

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Back to the Table and Another Course: Problem Solving and Options

Posted on April 9, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

Tired of dining? I hope not – there is plenty of food for thought when planning this next table. If you have been following the outline you understand that counsel has presented the strengths of their case to the opposing side and the principal at the table has carefully begun to assess litigation risks. After the legal discussion, the principals discussed their business case, concerns, interests,...

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Taking a slight turn: My History in Conflict and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Posted on April 2, 2014 by Steve Shapiro

I wanted to share a brief history of how I moved into the world of conflict resolution and Alternative Dispute Resolution. I share this story not about me so much as about how powerful each of our personal stories can be in context to the changing world of our political times, the profession, and when we are clear about our personal goals and aspirations. My first introduction into the formal ADR...

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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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