The Future of ADR

by Judge Frank Evans, Don Philbin, and Colin Rule. Conflict in human interactions is perennial. But our understanding of behavior in conflict is advancing and opening opportunities for the next generation of conflict resolvers. The authors take a look at two questions: How do we address growing pains in the practice of ADR? How will technology change both our understanding of how people make decisions, and the delivery of ADR? Full Chapter Here

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Arbitration

by John Allen Chalk. Arbitration begins with a contract, but often does not end there. If one of the parties challenges the arbitration agreement, the court where the arbitration dispute lands must first address whether a valid arbitration agreement exists. If the answer is yes, then the court must assess whether the asserted claims are within the scope of the agreement. These two questions can both open the door for courts to decide that more is on the arbitration table than one, or both, of the parties thought. John Chalk walks through the issues that can arise. Full Chapter Here

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ADR Procedures at the Appellate Level

by Hon. Guadalupe Rivera (Ret.). Mediation isn’t unheard of at the appellate level courts in Texas, but on the whole it’s used infrequently. Hon. Guadalupe Rivera (Ret.) digs through the data and shows which appellate courts make the most frequent use of ADR referrals, and details all the appellate courts’ policies on mediation. Full Chapter Here

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Collaborative Law: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

by Lawrence Maxwell, Jr. & Sherrie Abney. Texas adopted its collaborative law statute in 2001. Sixteen other jurisdictions have adopted a collaborative law statute as well. Despite this gain in traction, collaborative law remains a mystery for many attorneys and mediators alike. Lawrence Maxwell and Sherrie Abney lay out the relevant history of the collaborative law movement, and its importance to mediators, beyond those in the family law sphere. Full Chapter Here

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Mediation Advocacy: Nuts and Bolts

by Eric Galton. What can lawyers do to improve their mediation outcomes? Successful outcomes, Eric Galton says, start when the lawyers are setting up the mediation itself. Galton walks through a comprehensive list of issues to consider, including who should attend, when and what type of settlement documents should be exchanged in advance of a mediation, and tips on working effectively with the mediator. Preparation is, not surprisingly, the key to a successful mediation.   Full Chapter Here

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Mediation Logistics: Faciliities, Food, and Other Forgotten Details

by Gene Roberts & John DeGroote. Assuming mediation skills are equally strong, what makes one mediation practice more successful than another? Gene Roberts and John DeGroote informally surveyed more than 75 top mediators to find out. When it comes to the logistics of running a successful mediation practice, certain tips and tools surfaced consistently from this elite group. Roberts and DeGroote share the details and specifics culled from their research. Full Chapter Here

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The Neurobiology of Conflict and Persuasion

by Michael Ellison At its most simple, conflict and persuasion are largely handled by two different, and unequal, partners in the human brain. Persuasion is most often the result of a logical presentation of information that appeals to the cerebral cortex, or thinking portion of the brain. Through their long training in law school and years of experience in court, lawyers are taught that emotional appeals have little weight on the fine grind of the wheels of justice—logic and precedence prevail. Conflict, however, is not cerebral, it’s emotional. Conflict is regulated by the ancient mammalian brain, or limbic system, which is largely concerned with threat assessment and survival strategies. Not surprisingly, survival trumps intellect. In fact, when the limbic system gets involved, emotions run high and it shuts off the input from the wiser cerebral cortex. The limbic system rules our behaviors from its fang-and-claw mandate. This is the biological

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Lessons From Hollywood:

Settlement in the Movies By Kay Elkins-Elliott Many movies feature successful resolution of conflict. What can we learn from these big-screen examples? Because the mediator is the team leader in settlement, we can use the movies to learn or improve techniques for: facilitating communication and negotiation, overcoming barriers to settlement, and specific behaviors that influence parties to settle. As the mediator, you must bring to the table three vital skills: Negotiation Sophistication Closure Skills Communication Creativity Both pop culture, and the research and writing of settlement experts, can aid us in communicating clearly. They can also enhance negotiation sophistication and closure skills. The movies referenced here are some of my favorites, but you may have your own that would work better for you. Whatever they are, keep those movies in your mediation office, cued up to the part that just might turn on a light bulb in someone’s mind. Invite

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