Skills - Development

Connecting the Parts:  On Mindfulness, Empathy, and Listening to Learn

A central feature of conflict is division.  Parties see themselves as “I” versus “you” rather than as “we”.  When conflicts are constructively addressed, that sense of division often lessens.  “I” and “you” do not fully disappear, but “we” somehow emerges too.  This session will explore three tools for helping to make such connection:  mindfulness, empathy, and listening to learn.

Leonard Riskin, University of Florida Levin College of Law, Gainesville, FL
Jennifer Brown, Quinnipiac University School of Law, Hamden, CT
Jonathan Cohen, University of Florida Levin College of Law, Gainesville, FL


Best Commercial Arbitration Practices

A review of best practices and practical suggestions for making your service as an arbitrator more cost effective and productive. Consideration of procedures designed to minimize problems with counsel and parties and to maximize efficiency and understanding of the core issues.  Analysis of specific practice tips for use at the preliminary hearing, during discovery, regarding motion practice (if any),  at the hearing, and in drafting the award. Reference to the College of Commercial Arbitrators' Protocols and Best Practices Guide.

Edna Sussman, College of Commercial Arbitrators, Scarsdale, NY
Tyrone Holt, College of Commercial Arbitrators, Denver, CO
Eugene Farber, Farber, Pappalardo & Carbonari, White Plains, NY


Conflict Management in the Boardroom: New Opportunities for the Dispute Resolution Professional

This presentation will examine an exciting new practice area for the dispute resolution professional – assisting dysfunctional boards of directors, or any other collaborative decisional body, whether in business, government or voluntary organizations, with respect to any and all of the board’s activities. The panel will begin by differentiating this practice area from the traditional practice areas of mediation, arbitration and facilitation of discrete disputes. Following this, the panel will present a process for reliably moving a board from dysfunctionality to effectiveness. Finally, the panel will explore marketing opportunities in this new practice area.

Kendall Reed, Alternative Resolution Centers, Los Angeles, CA
Reginald Holmes, The Holmes Law Firm, Pasadena, CA
Maria Simpson, Personal Skills Management, Los Angeles, CA
Eric van Ginkel, Agency for Dispute Resolution, Los Angeles, CA


Innovative Strategies to Resolve Family Business and Other Organizational Conflicts

Dealing with conflicts can take up 80% of our work time. Family businesses make up approximately 80% of enterprises. The added complexities of family dynamics, including delegation difficulties, new family members, responsibility assumptions, succession processes, and other types of conflicts cause 70% of these businesses to fall apart in the second generation, and 93% in the third generation. Effective resolution requires members to acknowledge how they contribute to the conflict and may even be the cause (Complex Theory), and understand the context and relationships (Systems Theory). Third parties are necessary to support and facilitate resolution processes that enable organizational sustainability. This presentation examines workplace conflicts, with a focus on family businesses, and innovative resolution processes through interactive discussions and role-plays that enhance conflict resolution skills.

Stephanie Stobbe, Menno Simons College at the University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Lilian Vargas, Fundacion Instituto de Mediacion (FIMe), Resistencia, Chaco, Argentina


Using Collaborative Skills with Other Processes in the ADR Toolbox

The panel will demonstrate how skills used in collaborative law may be applied to other dispute resolution procedures. Focusing on the interests, goals, and concerns of their clients rather than positional or rights based bargaining will lead to more creative and satisfying results for the parties. The panel will explain how a slight adjustment in the way lawyers handle their clients’ issues will increase their ability to provide opportunities for successful resolution. Each panel member will comment on a segment of representation beginning with the screening interview and ending with resolution.

Sherrie R. Abney, Collaborative Lawyer,   Mediator and Arbitrator, Dallas, TX
Lawrence R. Maxwell, Jr., Attorney - Mediator - Arbitrator, Dallas, TX
Lorraine Lopich, Collaborative Lawyers Pty Ltd, Shellharbour Village, New South Wales, Australia
Robert Lopich, Collaborative Lawyers Pty Ltd, Shellharbour Village, New South Wales, Australia


Literary Intelligence for Mediators

Literary intelligence is a prime tool for helping mediators develop empathy and creative responsiveness to parties in conflict. The self- awareness and relationship-awareness skills of emotional intelligence can be enhanced by engaging literary representations of conflict. Patterned language in poetry engages the whole person through the senses, emotion, and intellect; drama creates visuals and actions from revenge to reconciliation; while story and the novel offer narrative world-making, helping us imagine possibilities for peace. From Homer, Aeschylus, and Shakespeare, to Louise Erdrich, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Toni Morrison, literary conflicts can help mediators gain strategies to create real-world peace.

Peter Arcese, Peter V. Arcese, Esq., New York, NY
Inga Watkins, Watkins Law and Dispute Resolution, PLC, Alexandria, VA


Managing the “Negotiation” within: How Mediators Can Work with Our Many Sub-personalities

This program presents and demonstrates the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of the mind and potential benefits of integrating it into conflict resolution. IFS, one of the leading approaches to family therapy, rests on the construct that the mind is composed of  “Sub-Personalities” or “Parts,” each of which behaves like a person—and can be prompted into action in a negotiation.  (Examples: Scared Child; Big Shot; Critic, and an Internal “Self”)  IFS can help people access an open-minded state of calm, compassion and clarity and provides tools for mediators and parties to manage their own internal “negotiations” and external negotiations.

David Hoffman, Boston Law Collaborative, LLC, Boston, MA
Leonard Riskin, University of Florida College of Law; Northwestern Law School, Gainesville, FL
Richard Schwartz, Center for Self-Leadership, Oak Park, IL
K.M. Zouhary, Proskauer, Rose LLP, Chicago, IL


Mediating Positional Bargaining in Insured Claims and Other Claims for Money

Impasses in negotiations about money are numerous and predictable: The parties threaten to "walk out"; they tell mediators to "go get me a reasonable proposal"; and they make low/high ball proposals in retaliation against the other party's "inadequate move". These negotiations are characterized by positional bargaining which stubbornly resists reframing as interest-based conversations. This session is a practical skills seminar using presentations, demonstrations, and interactive discussion to show how mediators can deal with the accusations of "insulting offers" and "bad faith proposals" which are so prevalent in positional bargaining, by using classical mediation skills and processes instead of the directive and evaluative techniques that are often associated with civil court mediations.

Andy Little, Mediation, Inc., Chapel Hill, NC