July 31, 2019

Mediation Lessons From the Talmud: Is Mediation of Disputes a Moral Duty or a Utilitarian Exercise?

Josh Fruchter
In this latest post on applying Talmudic principles in mediation, we discuss the Talmud’s view of mediation as an affirmative moral obligation (the Talmud being an ancient Jewish legal text compiled around 500 C.E. that is a primary source of Jewish law and philosophy). Moral duties are actions we are..
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July 28, 2019

When Does Evaluative Mediation Cross the Line from Neutral Analysis to Legal Advice?

Josh Fruchter
Two of the primary approaches to mediation are facilitative and evaluative. Under the facilitative approach, the mediator orchestrates a process that facilitates communication between the parties concerning their respective interests and concerns. The mediator typically refrains, however, from sharing an opinion concerning the strengths or weaknesses of either side’s positions...
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July 25, 2019

Using Mediation to Prevent Family Business Disputes from Escalating into Litigation

Josh Fruchter
We have previously discussed how mediation can add value in the estate planning and family business contexts by helping family members quickly and quietly resolve disputes before they erupt into litigation. The fact pattern in a recent Illinois appellate court decision illustrates the point. See Mandalis v. David Wentzel, et..
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July 23, 2019

Five Key Psychological Principles at Play in Mediations

Josh Fruchter
In several of our past blog posts, we’ve referenced various psychological principles applicable in mediations. An awareness of psychological principles can help mediators understand why parties have taken certain positions or why they are behaving in a certain way, as well as anticipate how parties may respond to a mediator’s..
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July 22, 2019

Can a Failed Insurance Mediation Trigger the Start of a Statute of Limitations?

Josh Fruchter
A recent Ninth Circuit decision addresses an interesting question in the context of an insurance dispute: can a failed mediation trigger the start of a statute of limitations? See Gallahan v. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co., No. 18-35057, 2019 WL 2595502, at *1 (9th Cir. June 25, 2019). On February 5,..
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July 18, 2019

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

Mediation Lessons 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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