Early coal mines didn’t have good ventilation, and miners were at risk from dangerous gases in the mines. So miners would bring canaries into the mines because they were sensitive to the gases and provided a warning of danger. The canaries would sing until they died from the gases. When they stopped singing, miners knew … Continue reading Canaries in the Litigation Coal Mine
Law school teaches students that law is a seamless web of rules emanating from authorities like statutes and cases which they must memorize and finely parse in hypothetical cases. In real life, practitioners generally think of law in terms of Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous definition: “prophecies of what the courts will do in fact.” Of … Continue reading The Role of Law in Legal Disputes
People often say that dispute resolution processes aren’t “one size fits all.” When practitioners are asked to opine about hypothetical problems, they often say “it depends” and they make “case by case” decisions. They are telling the truth. Lawyers make complex decisions as negotiators, litigation advocates, and mediators based on a lot of factors, so … Continue reading Teaching Students to Think Like Practitioners
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?
The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), the Chicago Bar Foundation, the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, and the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) are hosting a three-day virtual event that will focus on the major hows and whys of supporting and implementing the practice of unbundled legal … Continue reading Virtual Conference on Unbundled Legal Services in the New Normal – April 20-22
I just wrote this post on the Kluwer Mediation Blog on this subject. It summarizes empirical research showing the huge chasm in perspectives between many lawyers and their clients. Lawyers often focus only on monetary issues in legal disputes, which drives many of their clients crazy because they are also very concerned about a wide … Continue reading Lawyers Are From Mars, Clients Are From Venus – and Mediators Can Help Communicate in Space
Jim Stark and Doug Frenkel just became scholars-in-residence with the International Academy of Mediators, following in the footsteps of Hal Abramson, Lela Love, and Dwight Golann. I have appreciated Doug and Jim’s work – actually of all the SiRs – and this post describes some of the things I appreciate about it. It also includes … Continue reading Appreciation of Doug Frenkel and Jim Stark
Everyone knows that lawyers should carefully assess their cases at the earliest appropriate time. In cases that are or might be litigated, lawyers often focus primarily or exclusively on estimating the expected court outcome (aka the BATNA value). The LIRA book provides guidance for more thorough and systematic case assessments, including values for tangible costs … Continue reading LIRA Videos Out the Wazoo!!
The good folks at the Association for Conflict Resolution of Greater New York and CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College invited me to give a talk as part of their monthly breakfast series. Last week, I gave a presentation, Helping Parties Make Decisions About What’s Really Important, which synthesizes ideas I have been … Continue reading Concepts That Can Help Practitioners Help Parties Make Decisions in Disputes
Reflecting on my They Should Call it Negotiation School and Law School Failures posts, I wrote the following message, which you may want to share with your students. Although they may be too busy to follow up on this now, you can plant a seed for them to pursue this during the winter break. ___________________________________________________________________ … Continue reading A Message for Law Students to Prepare Themselves for Legal Practice
Kris Franklin is a kindred spirit to folks in our community. I hadn’t heard of her until I was wowed by her conversation with Peter Philips, which you can see in this 42-minute video. She’s a professor at New York Law School and here’s an excerpt from her webpage: An academic innovator, Kris Franklin brings … Continue reading You Really Should Know About Kris Franklin
I previously posted an overview of the excellent report by Ohio State Professor Deborah Jones Merritt and Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System Research Director Logan Cornett, Building a Better Bar: The Twelve Building Blocks of Minimum Competence. This report is based on insights from 50 focus groups with 201 participants conducted … Continue reading Study Finds That Law Schools Fail to Prepare Students to Work with Clients and Negotiate