Deborah Jones Merritt sent this notice of a virtual conference on bar exam reform that Mitchell Hamline, the University of Minnesota, and the University of St. Thomas are sponsoring on Friday, April 22, from 9:30-4:00 pm Central Time. The notice includes a link to register. Several states are now actively considering alternative pathways to licensure, … Continue reading Conference on Bar Exam Reform on April 22
The January 2022 issue of Dispute Resolution Magazine reports results of a survey of past contributors conducted by Editorial Board co-chairs Andrea Schneider and Michael Moffitt. This post uses some of the survey responses to suggest that we recognize the legal profession and judiciary as part of the dispute resolution field. “Alternative” No More In … Continue reading The Legal Profession, Judiciary, and Dispute Resolution
That’s the title of a thesis written by Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson when she was an undergraduate. A Washington Post profile, How Ketanji Brown Jackson Found a Path Between Confrontation And Compromise, said she was “a ‘child of the ’70s’ who overcame obstacles by finding middle ground. … [She spent] her first year … Continue reading The Hand of Oppression: Plea Bargaining Processes and the Coercion of Criminal Defendants
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