The Talmud is an ancient Jewish text (compiled around 500 C.E.) that is a primary source of Jewish law and philosophy. Its pages are filled with debates between various Sages concerning Jewish ritual (e.g., Sabbath, festivals) and civil law (e.g., contracts, torts, marriage, divorce), as well as numerous philosophical and..
It seemed a match made in heaven. On November 13, 2018, after over a year of entertaining bids, proposals and presentations from over 100 cites, Amazon announced that it had selected the Long Island City, Queens neighborhood in New York City as one of two locations for its new headquarters..
Psychologists tell us that humans prize harmony between their actions and beliefs. Accordingly, when we act contrary to a strong belief, alarm bells go off in the brain, and we feel mental discomfort, or “dissonance.” To eliminate this tension, we can either abandon the belief or change the behavior. To..
The use of high-low agreements is a familiar mediation technique. In a nutshell, a high-low agreement represents a “partial” settlement of a dispute under which the parties to a mediation agree to a minimum recovery for the plaintiff, and a maximum payout by the defendant, and then proceed towards final..
It’s a cardinal rule that an attorney cannot meet privately with a party represented by counsel outside the presence of the party’s attorney. But what if an attorney is a party to a mediation, and the counterparty is a non-attorney represented by counsel? Can the attorney meet one-on-one with the..
Few fans of the hit television series Law & Order are likely aware that the show gave rise to a real-life California divorce drama in which mediation played a central role. In August 2003, the creator of Law & Order, Richard Wolf entered into a marital settlement agreement (MSA) with..
“Expanding the pie” is a mediation technique that expands resolution of a dispute beyond purely distributive issues (i.e., how much money A pays to B) to other exchanges of value that create “win-win” solutions for the parties. “Pie expansion” works because, in most conflicts, it’s usually never “just about the..
With nearly 30 years of experience mediating business conflicts, it remains my firm conviction that to consistently reach mutually beneficial settlements of commercial disputes, the mediation process must be structured to enable business decision makers to address the underlying business interests of the dispute. One of the expectations emerging from..
For the inaugural post on the Merge Mediation Group blog, I’d like to briefly discuss the role of empathy in mediating disputes where there is a strong emotional component. That is, in disputes where emotions play a central role, what strategies can mediators employ to encourage disputants to step into..