July 18, 2019

Fact Pattern in Seventh Circuit Decision Validates Using Mediation Preemptively to Resolve Workplace Disputes

Josh Fruchter
We have previously advocated that employers use mediation preemptively to quietly resolve discrimination claims and other workplace disputes before they escalate into litigation. The fact pattern described in a recent Seventh Circuit decision validates that recommendation. See Fields v. Bd. of Educ. of City of Chicago, No. 17-3136, 2019 WL..
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July 17, 2019

From the Talmud: How to Manage High Conflict Personalities in Mediations

Josh Fruchter
In this latest post on applying Talmudic principles in mediation, we will explore a Talmudic insight that can be used to manage high conflict personalities in mediation (the Talmud being an ancient Jewish legal text compiled around 500 C.E. that is a primary source of Jewish law and philosophy). The..
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July 15, 2019

Can Mediators Add Value in the Transactional Context by Rescuing Deals at Risk of Falling Apart?

Josh Fruchter
Traditionally, mediators have helped parties resolve disputes already in litigation. Some of our recent blog posts, however, have discussed how mediators can help nip disputes in the bud before they escalate into litigation in contexts such as estate planning, family businesses, and the workplace. The idea being that lawyers should..
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July 11, 2019

Should Fee Shifting Provisions Condition Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees on Participation in Mediation Before a Lawsuit is Filed?

Josh Fruchter
To deter parties from taking frivolous positions in connection with contractual relationships, agreements often contain fee shifting provisions that entitle a prevailing party to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees in any litigation arising under the agreement. The downside of fee shifting provisions, of course, is that they may deter parties from..
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July 10, 2019

Bracketing in Mediation: When to Use It and Why It Works

Josh Fruchter
Participants in mediations will be familiar with bracketing — a technique widely used by mediators to bridge seemingly insurmountable gaps between what one side is offering and the other side is demanding. Why bracketing works offers a fascinating glimpse into the psychology of negotiation and mediation. Let’s assume a plaintiff..
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July 8, 2019

The Benefits of Preventative Workplace Mediation: Resolving Discrimination Complaints Internally Before a Charge is Filed

Josh Fruchter
A recent article (link below) in the Richmond Times-Dispatch by Karen Michael discussed efforts by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to encourage mediation after receiving a charge of discrimination. The article cited several benefits to employers who engage in mediation of discrimination complaints through the EEOC’s program. The article..
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July 7, 2019

From the Talmud: Making Peace in Mediation by Giving Others the Benefit of the Doubt

Josh Fruchter
We have previously blogged about applying Talmudic principles in mediation (the Talmud being an ancient Jewish legal text compiled around 500 C.E. that is a primary source of Jewish law and philosophy). This post will explore application of the Talmudic principle known in Hebrew as dan l’kaf zechut, or judging..
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July 2, 2019

Using a High Low Agreement to Counter Confirmation Bias in an Insurance Mediation

David Albalah
My colleague Josh recently blogged about strategies for handling confirmation bias in mediations. He mentioned I had used a high low agreement to successfully address confirmation bias in an insurance-related mediation. I’ll discuss that case in this post. A start-up title insurance agency (funded by a prominent private equity firm),..
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June 30, 2019

Texas Court Says Express Consent is Key if You Want Your Mediator to Arbitrate Disputes That Arise When Memorializing a Settlement

Josh Fruchter
We previously blogged about the process known as “med-arb” under which the parties to a failed mediation agree to retain the mediator to arbitrate their dispute. We also highlighted a particular application of med-arb under which the parties to a mediated settlement empower the mediator to arbitrate any disputes that..
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June 27, 2019

New Jersey Court Enforces Agreement to Mediate Workplace Disputes

Josh Fruchter
There are many benefits to resolving workplace disputes through mediation, including controlling legal expenses, avoiding adverse publicity, and maintaining employee morale. To realize these and other benefits of workplace mediation, many companies ask new employees to sign agreements to mediate and/or arbitrate any workplace disputes that may arise after employment..
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