(This is a ‘letter to self’ about court ADR research sent from the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Conference, San Francisco, April 2017.) Do Litigants Know Their Options? It’s always fascinating to come to a country where mediation is business as usual. There are some downsides to this, but the upside that immediately strikes a…

It was fifty years ago at the end of May that the Beatles launched the album (or LP as it was then called) “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” on the world – and the world was changed forever. 1967 was quite a year. It was the “Summer of Love”. Revolution was in the air…

I recently carried out New Zealand’s first empirical research on the users of commercial mediation. This is Part Three of a three-part study (Part One = the mediators, Part Two = the gatekeepers/lawyers). Getting to grips with what users think of commercial mediation is the Holy Grail for mediation professionals. Until now in New Zealand,…

This post is in part a roundabout response to Constantin-Adi Gavrila’s recent Kluwer mediation blog, in which he writes about a conversation with a friend who was convinced that all mediators need to be lawyers. The argument goes that to mediate you need to be a qualified lawyer, have legal knowledge of the disputed matter,…

Forty-five years ago, Professor Christopher Stone published a paper entitled “Should Trees have Standing? Towards Legal Rights for Natural Objects”. [45 Southern California Law Review 450–501.] Two years later, that paper had morphed into a book of the same title, with the subtitle, “Law, morality and the Environment” (1974; 3rd ed, 2010; OUP). Stone’s objective…

This blog comes (almost live) from the Berlin Global Pound conference, held on 24 March 2017. This was the 13th in a series of 39 coordinated events on commercial dispute resolution mechanisms around the world. The name goes back to the 1976 Pound conference in St. Paul, which marked a key moment in the advent…

How many of us share the experience I have had – sitting on the last train home, late at night, with a day’s mediating behind me and no settlement? Perhaps even no meaningful progress towards a settlement? Occasionally, no offers even made? And as you do so, perhaps you find that your thoughts veer from:…

This year, I think I have seen more articles on why and how NOT to make New Year’s Resolutions than making them. I’m not sure what this says about us, or about such resolutions, but, never one to miss an opportunity to make a nice list, I have made some mediation-specific resolutions nonetheless. First of…

“I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things … their lives frequently embody a truth expressed by Mother Teresa, from this year Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She once said: ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love’. But even with the inspiration of…

Rather than use Brexit and the US elections as introductory examples of dramatic change, I’m going to use yesterday’s seismic event in Chicago instead. Yesterday, the Irish rugby team beat New Zealand’s All Blacks for the first time ever (111 years). If that hasn’t changed the landscape of rugby, I don’t know what will. Anyway,…