A quick note that Harvard Law Review just published a note this month entitled Mediation of Investor-State Conflicts (Harvard Law Review, June 2014). It’s very exciting to see this concept hitting the mainstream and the timing is good. As the current litigation between Argentina and its unhappy bond holders demonstrates, alternate processes between states and their investors might work better! The International Bar Association approved rules of mediation for investor-state disputes at the end of 2012. Even more recently, the US has made a proposal to UNCITRAL for a convention on the enforcement of mediated agreements (what they are calling conciliated settlement agreements.) While this is not concerning investor-state disputes, it is another example of the current favorable climate toward international mediation. For more discussion, you can see the article that Nancy Welsh and I published last year here. Hat Tip to Susan Franck for passing this along!
Dear all, as I just sent out to our listserve as well, it is time to remind you of the Boskey Competition for three reasons–(a) I need your students to submit essays; (b) you might be right now in the midst of grading the next competition winner as we speak! and (c) we need judges of the competition–please email me if you are willing to judge.
This competition offers your students a chance to achieve both fame and fortune by writing a good essay pertaining to dispute resolution. Please encourage your students who have written good papers this year to submit them to the competition. The deadline for submission is June 13, 2014. Details of the competition can be found here.
Happy Grading (and Happy Summer!)–Andrea
At a gathering of negotiation teachers held at Marquette late last year, we conducted an exercise which demonstrated wonderfully many different outlooks on negotiation, in a short time and a creative way. We asked all participants to write out their own definition of negotiation effectiveness – in the form of a recipe, relating to ingredients required, their amounts and the proper sequencing or other preparation instructions. This resulted in some very creative outcomes, a wonderful discussion, and a negotiation cookbook! Since then, I’ve conducted this exercise with students in two negotiation courses I’ve taught, with great results. Check out the exercise, and the range of recipes it produced, here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2419712
From Bryan Hanson at the Werner Institute, below is a very interesting opportunity for our students:
Calling all Conflict Specialists newly entering the field
The Association for Conflict Resolutionis announcing the ACR “NEW VOICES- Emerging Professionals”
Juried selection for featured presentation at the 2014 ACR Annual Conference
Exciting New Feature of the Conference
The 2014 conference to be held in October in Cincinnati will feature seven “New Voices” to present in “prime time” on the conference schedule. This year’s conference organizers are reaching out across the globe to hear from students and new practitioners & researchers in the field.
What we want to feature: The jury panel is looking to showcase exciting practices or research that will enhance the knowledge and practice of our diverse membership. The panel will select the 12 – 15 presenters (depending on the schedule slot) based on both substance and presentation.
Additional opportunity: The conference presentation will also be recorded and featured on the ACR website. Additionally, a select number of submissions that were not selected for presentation at the conference will be invited to submit a 15 minute video for the website.
Who is eligible to apply: All current students in programs specializing in conflict resolution or interdisciplinary programs in which conflict studies are an integral part may apply. Practitioners who may not have been students in certificate or degree programs but have done other forms of training and have entered the field in the last five years are also invited to apply.
Contacts for each of the regions are as follows:
- Western region:
Camille Valentine, Fresno Pacific University. email@example.com.
- Midwest region:
Bryan Hanson, Creighton University BryanHanson@creighton.edu
- South & Southwest region:
Judith Mckay, NOVA Southeastern University. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Northeast region:
Julian Portilla, Woodbury Institute of Champlain College. email@example.com
Mary Damianakis, McGill University firstname.lastname@example.org
- International (all countries and regions other than US and Canada):
Jared Ordway, Woodbury Institute of Champlain College. email@example.com
Find out more about “New Voices”: For more information about the New Voices – Emerging Professionals juried selection go to http://www.acrannual2014.com/newvoices.html.
I went to Northern Ireland over spring break to see more about the conflict that we all study (yes, a totally geeky professor thing to do) and it was fascinating. This blog will mostly be pictures to give you a sense of the different neighborhoods around Belfast but let me start by saying that it is amazing. The downtown quarter is lovely with Victorian architecture. And there is a fabulous new museum on the Titantic (my favorite saying: Irishmen Built It; Englishmen Sank It) which also gives you the tone for how many of the Irish view the English!
The next day we (mom and sisters) took of tour of the Belfast neighborhoods where the population lives. And the separation barriers (aka peace walls) make Jerusalem look like child’s play. There are over 90 peace walls–yes, that is the phrase that they use–and over half of them were build after the Good Friday Accords. The peace walls are concrete barriers topped by fencing (apparently the first round of concrete was not tall enough to prevent molotov cocktails from being lobbed over them). Just mindblowing.
So here are a few pictures. First, above is a typical mural on the Falls Road side (the Catholic neighborhood.) This one commemorates the IRA hunger strikers that died. The picture below is another mural and then a plaque, also from Falls Road, over the Sinn Fein headquarters, and is a memorial to someone who was killed. These plaques are quite typical and ubiquitous, unfortunately, thoughout the neighorhoods noting each location where someone was killed.
Next is a picture of the peace wall from the Protestant side with a good perspective of how high these are. And the picture next to it is a typical mural on the Protestant side on Shankill Road. Note how the mural begins with World War 1 (the Ulster force is known as the first troops over the trenches in the Battle of the Somme) and, in the bottom right, how Eire (Ireland) is the path to war.
Completely amazing to see—the walls clearly work in terms of preventing violence. On the other hand, the constant and visual reminders of the past no doubt make it very hard to move forward. Really interesting!
Hi all–as many of you know, the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution conducted a survey last year of its lawyer members and the results are in! The report by Gina Brown and myself can be found here. Our abstract is below:
This report to the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution outlines the results of a survey to the membership concerning the use of neutrals in both mediation and arbitration on behalf of the Women in Dispute Resolution Committee (WIDR) of the Section of Dispute Resolution. The goals of the WIDR Committee was to change how neutral selection occurs in disputes, to increase the number of women who serve as neutrals, and to ensure that women and minorities were proportionally represented as neutrals. The first step, before suggesting changes, was to understand the current situation in the world of dispute resolution. In fall 2012, the Section of Dispute Resolution surveyed the lawyers belonging to the section to determine how mediators and arbitrators are selected in legal cases and the types of cases being resolved through the many available dispute resolution processes. Specifically, the survey was designed to examine who is being selected as a neutral, by whom, using what process, and for what types of cases. This report explains the methodology of the survey, the demographics of the respondents and neutrals involved in particular cases, and, most importantly, the information about neutral selection.
This survey provides clear data on women serving in neutral capacities and demonstrates several different potential avenues of change. Three preliminary conclusions drawn from this data are — first, the type and subject matter of the dispute clearly impacts neutral selection. As detailed in the paper, certain practice areas are far more male and certain others are quite female. Second, it appears to matter how the neutral is selected in mediation. Networking resulted in only 29% women while provider lists resulted in an increased percentage of 47%. Finally, arbitration and mediation are not the same for gender integration. Arbitration seems to hold steady at 20% regardless of selection process and even decreases further in panel arbitrations.
Our recommendations included that clients and lawyers could be encouraged to think more broadly about who they use as neutrals. Particularly in three arbitrator panels, when considering equally qualified candidates, there should be a presumption that a woman be selected as part of a panel. Furthermore, neutrals need to be aware that personal networks still appear to be the primary source of referrals and that these networks need to be strengthened and broadened to include women. Provider organizations should be commended for improved gender balance in mediation. Courts, provider organizations, agencies, and other organizations that administer and oversee ADR programs should be encouraged to use lists and the lists themselves should be broadened to include more women. In arbitration, provider organizations (a) should also adopt the assumption that multi-arbitrator panels should include one woman when they are appointing the panel and (b) should have a higher percentage of women on their list so that these lists can do more than reflect the current situation. Additional efforts in certain practice areas (commercial, construction, etc.) are likely warranted with a targeted program to identify and encourage women and minorities to serve as neutrals.
We look forward to hearing your comments and thinking about what we can do to continue to improve gender equity in the field.
I am delighted to share a new article from Donna Shestwosky and look forward to reading her findings!
NEW STUDY REVEALS HOW PEOPLE WANT THEIR LAWSUITS RESOLVED
As court systems throughout the country struggle to deliver civil justice in the face of budget cuts, a new study by a UC Davis law professor finds that people involved in civil lawsuits prefer mediation to nonbinding arbitration and like judge trials more than jury trials. In her study, “The Psychology of Procedural Preference: How Litigants Evaluate Legal Procedures Ex Ante,” Donna Shestowsky, who teaches negotiation strategy, alternative dispute resolution and legal psychology, reveals the legal procedures preferred by people involved in civil lawsuits at the start of their cases. The findings could help court systems design future generations of court-connected alternative dispute resolution programs by providing guidance on which procedures litigants find more appealing.
“The clear overall preference that litigants expressed for mediation over nonbinding arbitration has important implications for courts that want to draw litigants into their voluntary ADR programs, especially if they offer only one ADR procedure,” she said. “This finding helps to resolve a long-standing debate over which of the two procedures litigants prefer.” Overall, litigants liked mediation, the judge trial, and negotiations that included the litigants along with their attorneys more than all other examined procedures. A judge trial is where a judge determines the verdict rather than a jury. The study also found that compared to men, women were significantly less attracted to jury trials and binding arbitration.
Repeat players – those who had been either a defendant or plaintiff in a prior case – liked the idea of using binding arbitration for their case more than first-time litigants. “This finding resonates with the idea that repeat litigants are more likely than first-time litigants to appreciate the fact that trials are often associated with painful, protracted discovery and the threat of an appeal.”
The study also found that litigants preferred negotiations that included the parties along with their attorneys to negotiations that took place between the attorneys only. And the more litigants were confident of a trial win, the less they liked the option of the attorneys negotiating without the parties also being present.
Shestowsky’s project is the first multijurisdictional study that will explore how civil litigants assess procedures at various points during the same lawsuit. This is the first publication in a multipaper series, looking at litigants’ preferences at the beginning of a case. Subsequent papers will explore litigants’ views at the end of their lawsuit. This article appears in the latest edition of the Iowa Law Review, released Jan. 1.
The article is available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2378622.
Shestowsky collected extensive data from more than 400 litigants, in 19 different states, whose cases were filed in court systems in California, Oregon and Utah. Case types included contract, employment, civil rights, medical malpractice, personal injury, and property disputes. This project was funded by competitive grants from the National Science Foundation, the American Bar Association Section on Litigation and the University of California.
Today’s report from Human Rights Watch and the ensuing uproar over prosecutor behavior is just the latest attack on a negotiation system that is fundamentally flawed. Human Rights Watch report here and New York Times coverage here
When I studied how lawyers in general negotiate and then assessed the behavior in criminal cases (Cooperating or Caving In: Are Defense Attorneys Shrewd or Exploited in Plea Bargaining Negotiations?), it was remarkable to me that prosecutors and defense attorneys seemed to describe almost a fantasy system where more than 85% of negotiation interactions were described as problem-solving. And, as I explained at the time, repeat play and large case loads do have a significant impact on the relationships between counsel. But the threat of the trial penalty perhaps created a system in which defense attorneys have no choice but to “get along” with prosecutors and, given their power, prosecutors can choose to appear as problem-solving as they like. It appears that in the last ten years, this situation has only become worse.
The Human Rights Watch study shows both the harshness of the trial penalty and the capriciousness of its use by prosecutors. If this is the shadow of the law in which defendents are bargaining, it is a very dark one indeed.
To follow up on an offer we made at the Works-in-Progress conference, particularly for new scholars, here is an introduction to Lauren Newell, a new professor at Ohio Northern University. Her paper that she presented at the conference was terrific and I am very much looking forward to the research. Here is how she describes it:
Hunger Games: The Impact of Food and Hunger on Negotiation
The question of whether hunger is helpful in negotiations is one that has generated a multitude of opinions, but little empirical data. Some people prefer to keep the parties well fed in the belief that this fosters optimism, energy, and creativity. Others opt to delay meals as long as possible because they view hunger as a helpful motivator that encourages quicker compromises and promotes efficient settlements. This paper will identify connections between the science of hunger and of self-control and the anecdotal experiences of those who believe food plays a positive role in negotiation. It will then seek to demonstrate that negotiating while hungry is disadvantageous by adopting and testing the hypotheses that: (1) hungry negotiators will conduct shorter and more contentious negotiations than non-hungry negotiators; and (2) non-hungry negotiators will achieve more joint gains and will have greater short-term and long-term satisfaction with the outcomes of their negotiations than will hungry negotiators. Finally, this paper will examine the ethical implications of providing or denying food in order to gain a negotiating advantage.
Her previous research focused on Disney and can be found here:
Happiness at the House of Mouse: How Disney Negotiates to Create the “Happiest Place on Earth”: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2109491
Mickey Goes to France: A Case Study of the Euro Disneyland Negotiations: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2235699
Happy to welcome Lauren to the community of ADR scholars and looking forward to her future contributions!
I have been reeling recently with the latest, almost comical, memo that was sent to female Clifford Chance associates at the end of last month entitled “Presentation Tips for Women.” While some of the advice could be useful to all associates (rehearse, prep your opening, etc.), the majority of these tips are just offensive, particularly as the memo only went to women. (don’t giggle, don’t show cleavage, don’t squirm, practice big words, and the list goes on.) Above the Law rips the memo to shreds here, listing some of the most ridiculous tips along with their commentary:
“Like” You’ve got to Lose “Um” and “Uh,” “You Know,” “OK,” and “Like.”
- Um, Clifford Chance, do you think that women associates are like, uh, valley girls?
Think Lauren Bacall, not Marilyn Monroe.
- Because the goal in Biglaw is to sound like an older woman dripping with sex, not a younger one.
Don’t giggle; Don’t squirm; Don’t tilt your head.
- Don’t act like a teenager. Don’t act like a four-year-old. Don’t act like a confused dog. Got it.
Practice hard words.
- Wrap your tiny female brains around this one (or consult with George W. Bush if you’re having difficulties).
Wear a suit, not your party outfit.
- In case you’ve forgotten, there’s no such thing as work/life balance. Their suits are their party outfits.
No one heard Hillary the day she showed cleavage.
- Similarly, no one heard Bill the day he waved his dick around.
We reached out to Clifford Chance for comment on this debacle, and received this statement from the firm:
The original presentation and associated tips represented a personal perspective, shared with a group of colleagues, some just starting out in their careers. The more than 150 points are based on what this individual has found helpful as a public speaker in a broad range of business environments. While much of what is covered is common sense, we believe that it is important that women as well as men are given access to a range of different viewpoints and approaches; there is no Clifford Chance template on how people should present. The offense caused by a small percentage of the suggestions in the tip sheet was entirely unintentional.
We’re sure that the women attorneys at Clifford Chance feel much better now that they know the inadvertent sexism present in this memo wasn’t intentional.
At the same time, TIme Magazine just featured an article called The Last Politicians about the women of the Senate. Time categorized them as the “only adults left in Washington.” Clearly positive and flattering, the article highlighted how women get things done, using so many of the dispute resolution techniques we would recognize. Of course, the article notes that there is still a long way to go for equality. For example, 25 states have yet to ever elect a woman as Senator.
The New York Times was on the same page last month as well, with a cover story in its Sunday business section on women and leadership, interviewing four women about how they manage the work/life balance and succeed. As I have written before on politics, and on women lawyering, that balance between likeability and competence remains a difficult one to manage.
But all is not lost. At least Hollywood has moved forward even if other venues have not. I was just sent a clip from the most recent episode of Scandal (which I don’t watch but I think this clip has just persuaded me to do so!) Lisa Kudrow takes on the media and her opponent in her run for the Presidency here. Perhaps the partners at Clifford Chance could learn something about speaking and sexism by watching it!
I just returned from a fabulous weekend in Hong Kong (and yes, I would suggest staying longer next time.) Nadja Alexander, Jim Coben, and Chris Honeyman put together a really diverse and interesting group of people to discuss Modern Negotiation and Ancient Wisdom. The articles coming out of the conference will form the next issue of Tan Pan–a journal on conflict resolution in both Chinese and English which is a joint project of the International Institute for Conflict Engagement and Resolution (IICER) at Hong Kong and the Dispute Resolution Institute at Hamline University Law School. Highlights included Dining in the Dark (a dinner completely in pitch black), a great walking tour of older Hong Kong neighborhoods, and a conference run with a world cafe methodology that kept us moving and active throughout the day. My contribution (or at least my commitment!) is to co-author an article with a colleague from Singapore tentatively titled “Gearing up for Battle: Ancient Warrior Wisdom for the Modern Negotiator.” The article will look at Sun Tzu (I’ve been intrigued since Michael’s post), Gita (an ancient Hindu story), and the Torah. Please let me know if you have any ideas! And I know that Tan Pan would love your contribution as well.
We had New York Times journalist Tina Rosenberg visit the law school this week in honor of the ABA’s Mediation Week and she was fascinating. First, she is a recipient of the MacArthur “genius” grant which she used to travel to South America and lived there for several years. Second, she won a Pulitzer Prize for her second book, written about the fall of communism. And those were not even the reasons we invited her! Her “Fixes” column in the Times focuses on “solutions journalism”–the idea that journalists can cover what works as well as what the problems are around the world. In her talk to students, she discussed how solutions journalism is one response to the “argument culture” also shared by lawyers and we talked about how the ADR movement is similar in many ways–trying to create a shift in how lawyers think of themselves and their role. Tina’s most recent book–Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World–focuses on another type of persuasion that relates to lawyering and mediating skills. Really eye-opening in a variety of ways–and I am coining the phrase Solutions Lawyering right now. I am also going to read Join the Club and think more carefully about how we teach ethics–Tina would argue that only pointing out the bad behavior might not be nearly as persuasive as celebrating, and making normal, the good behavior. Hmmmm–much to contemplate. Link here to a blog post about her visit with our own distinguished journalist in residence–Mike Gousha–and here is a link to the video of her visit with him.
From FOI Natalie Fleury, here’s a great case arguing for good behavior in mediation:
During a shuttle mediation addressing alleged sexual discrimination, the charging party (and at-the-time current A.B. Data employee), Michael Benes, broke into the room where his employer’s representatives were situated and stated “You can take your proposal and shove it ** **** *** and fire me and I’ll see you in court.” He apparently felt the offer was too low.
Not surprisingly, he was fired. Mr. Benes then filed suit under 42 U.S.C. §2000e-3(a), the anti-retaliation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The district court granted A.B. Data’s summary judgment motion, deciding that Benes had been fired for misconduct during mediation, not in retaliation for the discrimination charge. Benes appealed to the 7th Circuit.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court, stating in part: “It was Benes who sabotaged the mediation session by barging into the other side’s room. Put to one side what he said there. Mediation would be less useful, and serious claims of discrimination therefore would be harder to vindicate, if people could with impunity ignore the structure established by the mediator. . . . Since §2000e–3(a) does not create a privilege to misbehave in court, it does not create a privilege to misbehave in mediation.”
You can access the full opinion here. Hat Tip to Willamette’s RDDR Summer 2013 Issue 4.
From RSI and FOI, Susan Yates, a few more job postings looking for foreclosure mediation program coordinators in three different counties in Illinois–full information about the jobs are located here. Good luck!!
We hope that you are enjoying your last gasps of summer, kicking the kids out of the house and into school, and ready to teach/practice/work! A few of us will be sharing a bit from our summer break including what we read, what we wrote, and what we are going to be adding to our teaching. Other possibilities include favorite trips, negotiation stories, recipes, whatever…. Readers are invited to send along their summer vacation memories as well so feel free to comment or to send to one of us to post.
What I read: Following on some great recommendations from the ABA panel last spring, I first read Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly on the importance of vulnerability. The message of fail often in order to succeed well was a critical one in the book. She also spends much time talking about empathy and where this comes from. It was definitely an easy and enjoyable read. I am now finishing up The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt on why good people disagree over everything. It is a fascinating look at intuition, morality, and how our brains are formed to assumptions that then results in political differences. Really helpful for me in understanding political differences, particularly in my state these days!
What I wrote: This summer was the summer of second or third editions–edits to the new Mediation textbook (out in print now!), the new Negotiation textbook (coming soon), and the new Examples & Explanations also coming soon. I also have been working on a more accessible book for science faculty on how to negotiate their careers (grants, research support, co-authorship, etc.) based on some of the training that I have been doing for medical faculty in the last five years.
What I am teaching: For the second time, I am starting off my ethics class with the DONS exercise. Before I poison the students with rules (Art’s study shows that over the course of law school, students get less ethical), I want them to get a sense of their ethical compass. I am also, for the first time, going to have the “clients” do their own negotiation to see if there is any difference. So I am curious…. As for ADR, I want to use clips from the television show Brain Games (that is what I watched this summer). Each segment showed several different ways our brain takes shortcuts as we make decisions that can make us less effective (like their version of the invisible gorilla). So I’ll keep everyone posted how that works.
And, for fun, what I ate: Too much deli in New York, too much red wine in Pittsburgh, too much pasta in Italy–in short, it was a great summer. Welcome back to all!
Susan Yates of RSI and Professor Anita Maddali from Northern Illinois University have a three-year grant from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office o do foreclosure mediation work. (Good work guys!) And, as part of the grant, NIU is looking to hire a visiting assistant clinical professor to start a foreclosure clinic at the law school. Below is the official posting:
Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor
Northern Illinois University College of Law
The Office of the Illinois Attorney General has awarded a joint three-year grant to Northern Illinois University College of Law (“NIU Law”) and Resolution Systems Institute (“RSI”) to assist homeowners harmed by fraudulent foreclosure and loan servicing practices. As part of this grant, NIU anticipates hiring a Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor to establish an NIU COL foreclosure clinic. The expected start date is August 1, 2013.
As the only public law school in Northern Illinois, NIU College of Law has been named a top law school nationally for diversity, value, and careers in public interest/government service. NIU Law provides unique opportunities for its students, beginning with its highly accomplished faculty who are personally invested in the success of every student throughout their professional lives. Although many alumni serve as public interest attorneys, prosecutors, defenders, elected officials, and judges, they are equally prepared for careers as solo practitioners or lawyers in multinational firms.
The Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor will teach a foreclosure law clinical course during the fall, spring and summer semesters beginning in the fall of 2013, and will supervise approximately five to eight law students each semester. Students
enrolled in this course will learn about foreclosure law, the foreclosure mediation process, and will develop a wide range of lawyering skills. Under the supervision of the professor, students will screen and prepare foreclosure cases for ediation, and represent borrowers in mediation as needed. Clinic students will work closely with Prairie State Legal Services, assisting them with their foreclosure intake line.
Principal duties will include the following:
Creating and teaching a foreclosure law clinical course
Supervising law students enrolled in the clinical course
Assisting with the Prairie State Intake Line
Preparing individual borrowers for successful mediation
Representing individual borrowers in mediation
Working closely with RSI to coordinate obligations and duties under the grant
Submitting required reports to the Illinois Attorney General
The salary is $60,000 annually, plus benefits.
Required: JD from an ABA-accredited law school; 2 years legal experience; and a current license to practice law.
The preferred applicant will have 2-5 years experience representing clients in foreclosure proceedings. Teaching experience, particularly clinical teaching in a law school setting, is desired. The ideal applicant will have an interest not only in the foreclosure legal process, but also in teaching law students the necessary skills to effectively represent clients.
AA/EEO institution. Preference will be given to applications received by July 8, 2013, although applications will be accepted until the position is filled. In compliance with the Illinois Campus Security Act, before an offer of employment is made, the university will conduct a pre-employment background investigation, which includes a criminal background check.
In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action.
To apply, please send by July 8, 2013, a letter of application, resume, and list of names/addresses/email addresses/phone numbers of three current professional references to Dean Jennifer L. Rosato, Office of the Dean, Attention: Tita Kaus, Northern Illinois College of Law, Swen Parson Hall, Room 270, DeKalb, IL 60115-2890, or send materials electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear all, as I just sent out to our listserve as well, it is time to remind you of the Boskey Competition for two reasons–(a) I need your students to submit essays; and (b) you might be right now in the midst of grading the next competition winner as we speak.
This competition offers your students a chance to achieve both fame and fortune by writing a good essay pertaining to dispute resolution. Please encourage your students who have written good papers this year to submit them to the competition. The deadline for submission is June 14, 2013. Details of the competition can be found here.
Happy Grading (and Happy Summer!)–Andrea
Yesterday was the last day of class for our International Conflict Resolution class and, to close, I thought I would post some oversarching comments. Particularly as the new Secretary of State, John Kerry, embarks on what I hope will be a successful quest to learn more about the Israeli Palestinian conflict and encourage the parties to reach resolution, it is always useful to remember that newspapers cannot possibly convey the nuances and complexities of conflict. Here are two different reflections on how American perspectives of the Middle East are shaped:
From Amber Ragonese:
Almost everything the average (non-Jewish) American hears about Israel is in some way related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Almost everything the average (non-Middle Eastern) American hears about the Middle East is in some way related to war. Until participating in the Conflict Resolution course, I was no exception. We hear of suicide bombers attacking crowded markets and public transit. We hear of rockets crossing over the southern borders and of Palestinians being targeted by Israeli military forces. Given this background, I was a bit surprised to find myself around day three of our eight-day escapade suddenly realizing that not a moment had passed in which I felt unsafe or worried about my security or overall well-being. In fact, when I came to this realization I found that I felt safer in Israel than I do walking back to the Wells Street parking structure on the Marquette campus after night classes.
The first moment I gained a better sense of my location in the world was while overlooking Syria from the Golan Heights. Even then, had I not been told of the position, I could have easily been viewing a pasture in any Mediterranean climate. It wasn’t until three UN peacekeepers stopped their patrol to speak to us and pointed out the loud noise we just heard was in fact a Syrian bomb, that reality began to creep back. And yet – the environment was still oddly not odd. Normal. Serene. Beautiful, even. I knew the sound was a bomb and logically understood the potential devastation it could have caused, but it was still difficult to grasp: there were no screams, there was no blood, there were no crumbling buildings in sight.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict exists as do other pockets of violence in the region; and while there’s little doubt numerous families have been devastated by the clashes, it is entirely possible to visit the region in a blissful and naïve ignorance of it all. With the exception of the daily sight of the Israeli Defense Force and their assault weapons attached at the hip, one may actually have to force themselves to remember the conflict exists in order to experience any sign of it. And so the question arises: is it possible that daily media reminders of how dangerous and destructive a place is can actually make it safer?
From Aneet Kaur:
Ever since returning from Israel I’ve been asked again and again about how the trip went and have even gotten many “good to see your back in one piece” comments. These statements made me realize how little we really know what is going in the Middle East. Quite honestly, prior to going on the trip I had the same general idea of Israel as well. However, reflecting back I can’t think of one time in Israel when I felt unsafe. Going to Israel has been a life changing experience for me. That’s not a statement you can make after many trips. I’ve tried to explain it to my family and friends but somehow I feel my words and pictures won’t do justice to my experience. Besides the country itself and the amazing sights, the experience was so much greater because of the people we got to hear speak. In a matter of a week, the amount of different people and different perspectives we were introduced to is not something you can accomplish on many trips. Even though I knew how emotionally charged the conflict in Israel is, being able to hear from so many different people who are personally affected and connected to the conflict gave me a different outlook on it.
In a poll conducted by Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports, Alternative Dispute Resolution ranked fourth in terms of what areas of law need more attention from the legal academy in terms of more full-time faculty doing research in the area . The full poll results can be found here. So, blog readers, what do you think? More writing? More hiring? Interesting food for thought….. (Hat tip to Nancy Welsh for sending this along)
A highlight of our trip was meeting with Justice Aharon Barak. Barak has been hailed as the father of Israeli constitituional law and Justice Elana Kagan called Justice Barak her “judicial hero.” His remarks covered a widespread range of topics from the development of Israeli law to several difference famous Israeli Supreme Court cases to the importance of the U.S. Supreme Court. Two different students share their thoughts below:
From Alexandra Weiland:
On a recent trip to Israel with Marquette University Law School, our class was fortunate enough to meet with Justice Aharon Barak, former president of the Israeli Supreme Court. To summarize Barak’s staggering contributions to the Israeli legal system, one member of our group used the phrase “legal badass.” That was an understatement. Barak was born in Kaunas, Lithuania and survived the Kovno ghetto before immigrating to Palestine with his parents in 1947. Barak became Attorney General of Israel in 1975. In 1978, he became the youngest Justice on the Supreme Court of Israel. In 1995 he became the President of the Supreme Court. He served in this position until 2006. In this role, Justice Barak championed a proactive judiciary and established judicial review in Israel. He is cited as being the most influential jurist in the history of the State of Israel.
He was kind enough to meet with our small group of 32 law students and four faculty members and to share his insights into the Israeli legal system. For an hour, he graciously answered our questions about various aspects of Israeli law and his experiences on the court. One story particularly stands out. Justice Barak recounted receiving an award from Justice Scalia. [The Pursuit of Justice Award presented in 2007 by Justice Scalia at the U.S. Supreme Court] As part of his acceptance he said, “when Brown v. Board of Education was decided, I was there.” He was speaking metaphorically, using Brown as an example of a case with international import in which the rights conferred to U.S. citizens were felt by individuals across nations. On a broader level, he was addressing the interconnectedness of international legal communities. He explained that he intended this message as somewhat of a cautionary tale to Justice Scalia; he was warning the Court to stay relevant in the international community by at least being conscious of what other nations are doing, particularly in human rights law. This message was part of a larger discourse between Scalia and Barak on the role of comparative law in a national jurisprudence. Some of Barak’s perspective can be found here: Comparative Law, Originalism and the Role of a Judge in a Democracy: A Reply to Justice Scalia by Aharon Barak.
Aside from the ongoing conversation on comparative law, I think I have isolated why this story stands out for me. One of the great values international travel offers is the chance to contextualize oneself as a small actor in a massive global ommunity. For me, the trip to Israel transferred this perspective to my role as a law student in the international legal community. I think that Justice Barak’s urging for the U.S. Supreme Court to stay relevant implicitly invites law students to stay cognizant of our own situation within the international legal community: one contributor to one legal system operating within a nebulous multitude of interconnected, overlapping, sometimes conflicting legal systems. I don’t know what the implications of this perspective will be but I hope to carry it with me as I continue to develop my understanding of both U.S. and international legal systems.
From Catherine Loew:
I will always remember two paraphrased quotes from Justice Aharon Barak. He said to be true to yourself. I took this comment to heart. To know what is just, we must always look to ourselves to make that decision. The internal compass is vital to leave the world a better place than how we found it. We are also responsible to hold our government and courts to what we know to be right. I am criticized for not accepting the world for how it is. I refuse to concede, we must improve the access to justice, safety, and equality.
Additionally, he spoke of the award he received at the U.S. Supreme Court for his life’s work in Israel.In his reflection of his difference between Justice Scalia and himself, he said that he feels that Scalia stops where he would start. Scalia looks ate the historical judicial and legislative intent of the decision. Justice Barak stated it would be his first question, but not his last. I took from this story the need to always question the past, present, and future. The respectful expression of his quest for what is right requires an open mind to question. Law is a living changing thing.
As we wrote about the last Israel trip, noting the complications and contradictions of the country are crucial to also understanding it. On the 65th anniversary of Israeli independence, this blog post from student Kristina Minor discusses the importance and implications of Zionism:
Israel is by far the most complicated place I have ever been. There is no way to fully understand what is going on in the area without walking the streets and speaking to the people. What hit me most about the trip was seeing the beauty and passion for life and harmony that has emerged as a result of hundreds of years of conflict and pain.
The very foundations of the Israeli are based on a painful Jewish history and promises waiting to be fulfilled. For example, the reason the Israeli Defense Force is not permitted to attack unarmed persons is because during the Holocaust millions of unarmed Jews were mercilessly executed. And one of the reasons that there is such a strong passion for Judaism and tradition and for the Israeli State is because they were taken away from the Jews for so many years. Despite my research on Zionism prior to the trip, I did not really understand what it meant until I saw the look in some of the Israelis’ eyes when they spoke about it. Zionism is not just a political or even religious stance; it is truly engrained in the very core of Israeli citizens. I think the level of conflict in the region is so different from that in the United States because point of contention is a non-negotiable system of values and beliefs that are often directly opposed to each other.
This complexity is manifested in the Old City in Jerusalem, which is really the epicenter of three of the major religions—Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Within less than a square mile lays a Jewish temple, a Muslim mosque and a Christian church. It was honestly a bit surreal to hear both the church bells signaling and the mosque “calling” its people to come worship at the same time, in virtually the same place. And instead of an outbreak of fighting, which is what I expected given the skewed American media reports, there was this unspoken understanding and tolerance allowing everyone to worship God in their own way. One of the most surprising structures was the gorgeous mosque that stood right in the middle of where the original Jewish temples used to be, before they were demolished by the Babylonians and Romans. If ever there were to be an outbreak of violence in the near future in Jerusalem, I would expect it to start there.
“Zeh mesubach maod” means “this is very complicated.” And there is really no other way to describe Israel and the surrounding areas. We had meetings in Jerusalem and could see the giant cement wall blocking off Bethlehem. We sat on a volcano drinking tea and at the same time listened to bombsgoing off in Syria. While I think it is both necessary and admirable for Americans and other countries to get involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution, they cannot help while sitting in cushy offices thousands of miles away. This is an experience that I think everyone should take at least once.
At the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Annual Meeting last week, Senator George Mitchell spoke about Northern Ireland and how important hope and patience is for a peace process. On the other hand, and contrary to much that we read about in negotiation, he did not argue that trust is needed. Several of our speakers in Israel spoke about this as well. The following blog from Nick Grode picks up on this theme:
Having returned from Israel, I find myself reflecting on what I have learned. One of the most interesting lessons centers on the role of trust in conflict resolution. While in Israel I had the pleasure of listening to Gershon Baskin [Baskin negotiated the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli solider held by Hamas for five years] and Moty Cristal [Cristal was last year's ABA keynote speaker, a well-known negotiation expert involved in numerous Israeli Palestinian issues] speak about the Middle East conflict. Both commented on the lack of trust between the Israeli and Palestinian governments.
Interestingly, neither saw this lack of trust as a bar to peace. Rather, the two seemed to view the lack of trust as yet another challenge that could be surmounted with the proper framework. The seemingly minimal effect trust has on resolving this most complicated conflict made me curious as to how trust truly affects our everyday negotiations and how we should respond to situations where we cannot (or should not) trust the other side. How are we to deal with others who have constantly breached agreements, lied, cheated, stole from us, or committed a host of other crimes against “civilized” conflict resolution.
The short answer would seem to involve not dealing with these opponents at all, and this is likely sound business policy (imagine the costs of coming to a public agreement with Arthur Anderson days before the Enron disaster went public). Yet there are many times when we cannot choose who sits at the other side of the table. As an intern at a local District Attorney’s office I see many instances where attorneys deal with parties they do not trust, and even though this situation is not ideal, plea agreements are still made and deals are still created.
It seems the true cost of trust is integration. Third party enforcement mechanisms like the courts seem to remove the possibility that the agreement will not be adhered to, so the risk of actually being robbed of any agreement seems slim. What is truly lost is the possibility of creating an integrative agreement. It seems that without trust, parties are unable to share the information needed to create an agreement that truly meets each side’s interests; thus, parties are forced to settle for lesser agreements and less fulfillment than would have been had with even a minimal level of trust to build upon.
So in the end it seems that while trust is not essential to conflict resolution, trust remains an important part of allowing parties to meet their interests. We can only hope that at least some Israelis and some Palestinians will be able to learn to trust each other so that someday we will all be able to experience true peace in the Middle East.
Hi all—lovely to see so many of you last week at the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Conference! Just to follow up from my mini-presentation in the morning of the LEC, I wanted to send around live links to the two teaching materials I shared. The first is the article on teaching the TKI and new DYNAD exercise by Jennifer Brown and me entitled Negotiation Barometry: A Dynamic Measure of Conflict Management Style which will be out soon in Ohio State’s Journal on Dispute Resolution. (For those who missed my 30 second explanation, this is a new conflict styles exercise that assesses responses at the beginning of the conflict and then again as the conflict is more heated) The SSRN link is here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2243624
The second live link is to the DYNAD exercise itself—I’ve loaded this separately since the version in the journal is understandably a little cramped to fit on the page. And that SSRN link is here http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2243679
For more on how to teach styles and skills (and why style analysis is not enough), I am also linking to last year’s article in Wash. U’s Journal of Law & Policy entitled Teaching a New Negotiation Skills Paradigm. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2151440 This article also includes the Negotiation Origami figure that I used in the later LEC presentation on social intuition for those of you that wanted a copy.
Happy to hear any comments or suggestions. Thanks much!
From Glen Parker at Cardozo, below is an announcement about a writing competition in conflict resolution open to students in the Tri-State area or from that region:
The ACR-GNY has organized a Student Writing Competition to coincide with its 2013 Annual Conference being held on June 20, 2013. The goal of the competition is to solicit scholarly work addressing the theme of this year’s conference, “Mainstreaming Creative Conflict Resolution”, and to promote meaningful student involvement in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Indeed, we hope to “mainstream” ADR in part by offering rewarding ways for a younger generation to participate in this growing field. To this end, we have broadened the scope of the writing competition by opening it up to three separate and distinct categories of students: Undergraduate, Graduate and Law. We will be offering 1st Place prizes to winners in each category. For a complete description of the competition, please visit www.acrgny.org/student_writing_competition_2013.
Tonight begins Holocaust Remembrance Day–Yom Hashoah–and so today’s post is from Brendan Byrne on visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial–a regular stop for visitors to Israel including the President this past month.
Yad Vashem is the official memorial to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust that took 6 million lives and left physical and emotional scars on millions more during World War II. The museum itself is located on a tranquil and peaceful mountain top surrounded by walking paths that allow for reflection after the atrocities recounted within.
To enter the museum everyone must cross a wooden bridge. Once inside I immediately noticed that I was surrounded by 30 foot high concrete walls and instantly recognized that I was not entering the comforts of home, it was something far from home. Rounding the first turn I saw a single long hallway that seems to be brightly lit at the end, but I couldn’t just walk a straight path to that light, the path is blocked by numerous wired fences.
So I made my way into the start of the exhibit. Even for someone who does not suffer from claustrophobia, the going was slow and the space limited and constricting. Often times my progression through the museum came to a complete stop as a few people in front of me paused to reflect on a certain display. I along with the gathered crowd waited to move on and a few people quickly grew into a large mass behind those that created the block, but it remained silent in the museum, and everybody waited to move forward, nobody interrupts the others reflective state. This happens over and over again as I walk through the museum. It almost seems as if this was an intentional feature of the design. It made me think about, even if just for a few second, what it must have been like to be treated like an animal, herded into the ghetto, then onto the train bound for the concentration camp, and finally herded into the long fenced in pathway leading to the gas chamber.
It was also not a coincidence that during the first half of the museum the pathway everyone is walking is declining. The decline starts with the anti-Semitic laws passed in Germany in the 1930s and reaches its lowest point at the period of mass extermination. After reaching the bottom of the decline, which signifies the most difficult time for the Jewish people, I began walking up the incline and enter the Hall of Names. Here I gazed at the walls of the room filled with binders of the names of the known victims and their stories. I could also see empty shelves that signify the incomplete work where there is room for the names of those who have yet to be remembered or those who have been lost to history as there is nobody who knew them that survived to tell their stories. I looked up and saw the faces of hundreds of the victims, their photos and the moments of happiness on display, before they fell victim to the Nazi regime. I looked down and saw the faded images reflecting in a pool of water and realized that their faces had faded with time, but their memory will live on in the hearts and minds of the Jewish people and those that witness this museum.
But the Hall of Names is not the end, it really signifies the beginning. Just outside the Hall of Names, and slightly up the incline, the bright light that could be seen at the beginning of the long hallway is now clearly a bank of windows and doors leading to a patio. When you reach the edge of the patio you overlook the hills of Jerusalem and realize that, yes all of these horrendous things have happened and the trials these people faced were long and hard, but the Jewish people, looking out on the hills of Jerusalem were, once again, in a place of hope, and in a place they can truly call home.