I was thrilled that my recent post, Focus on Party Decision-Making, prompted a stimulating conversation on the DRLE listserv, including thoughtful comments by Mary Bedikian, Doug Frenkel, Dwight Golann, Deborah Hensler, Charlie Irvine, Andrew Mamo, Cash Nickerson, Peter Philips, Jim Stark, Jean Sternlight, Nancy Welsh, and Roselle Wissler. This post discusses some issues in the … Continue reading Teaching Students to Focus on Party Decision-Making
A major motivation in the modern dispute resolution movement has been to increase and improve parties’ decision-making in their legal disputes. Historically, parties often had little opportunity to exercise much control after they retained attorneys to handle their disputes. Attorneys often acted paternalistically, taking control over virtually every aspect of the cases. The legal system … Continue reading Focus on Party Decision-Making
This was the question I had to answer when planning a lecture. I was a speaker in a course offered by the Universidad Monteavila in Caracas, Venezuela. My wonderful colleague, Rafael Gely, organized this collaboration with Missouri’s DR Center to provide a series of speakers, including me. My Venezuelan colleague told me that I could … Continue reading If You Had Only One Hour to Describe ADR, What Would You Say?
I have had some wonderful conversations in my LIRA book tour and made videos of some of them. Considering the challenges of synchronous instruction these days, faculty may want to assign some of these videos as asynchronous “guest lectures” and/or make-up assignments if students or faculty have to miss some classes. Here’s a list of … Continue reading More LIRA Videos
Everyone knows that a bottom line in a lawsuit is an immutable “line in the sand” that is accurately reported to mediators and counterparts as the least that a plaintiff would accept or most that a defendant would pay. Not really. During the life cycle of a case, lawyers start with vague and tentative bottom … Continue reading What’s a Bottom Line?
Everyone loves BATNA. It has more than 16 million hits on Google. I have loved BATNA too. Of course, people should consider alternatives to a negotiated agreement when negotiating or mediating. Unfortunately, people have loved BATNA so much that it has become a cliché that is widely misunderstood, even by some dispute resolution experts. When … Continue reading BATNA May Be Less Important Than You Think – and Teach
My career has focused on helping disputants by analyzing and promoting helpful lawyering and other dispute resolution techniques. The ABA book, Litigation Interest and Risk Assessment: Help Your Clients Make Good Litigation Decisions, is the culmination of my scholarly career, combining Michaela’s and Heather’s excellent research on litigation risk assessment and my work on planned … Continue reading LIRA Book Tour
In a recent DRLE listserv colloquy, I threatened to save for another day an extended rant about why we are so doggone attracted to using confusing jargon. That day has arrived. What’s Wrong with BATNA and All the Other ATNAs? My mania was stimulated by an exchange of listserv posts about the use of BATNA … Continue reading BATNA’s Got to Go — and Here’s a Better Idea
If you teach students that it’s important to analyze their BATNAs, consider including material in your course on litigation interest and risk assessment, aka LIRA. Virtually every negotiation, mediation, and ADR survey course teaches students that they should figure out their BATNA when negotiating or mediating. That is sooooo much easier said than done, as … Continue reading Resources for Teaching About BATNA, Bottom Lines, and LIRA
Several contributors to the Theory-of-Change book suggested that we should reconceptualize our field, shifting away from defining it in terms of particular dispute resolution procedures such as negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. I think that this idea makes sense, and this post suggests that we should include a decision-making lens that may be part of a … Continue reading Decision-Making as an Essential Element of Our Field