Evaluating Agents, Attorneys, Arbitrators, Mediators (and Students)

The agency literature is filled with discussions of how best to structure compensation systems to promote the right incentives for people we hire to do things on our behalf.  Embedded in most of it is an assumption that we can tell when someone is doing a good job. That’s not a bold assumption when I … Continue reading Evaluating Agents, Attorneys, Arbitrators, Mediators (and Students)

Why I Got to Watch the Packers Lose (And You Probably Did Not)

Aside from the fact you might not have cared about the Packer game last week, unless you lived in a local market (Milwaukee, Green Bay, or Dallas), you couldn’t have watched it anyway.  Due to the stalled negotiations between the NFL and cable providers, with Comcast and Time Warner leading the way, only about 4 … Continue reading Why I Got to Watch the Packers Lose (And You Probably Did Not)

The Rise of the “Embedded Neutral?”

During the American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, we were introduced to the concept of the “embedded journalist.”  Pentagon officials claimed that they were limiting journalists’ access in order to ensure their safety and protect secret military operations.  These protestations likely were sincere, but Pentagon officials also must have been aware that “embedded journalists” were … Continue reading The Rise of the “Embedded Neutral?”

Mediator Ethics … and What Actually Guides Us

Do practicing mediators actually turn to conventional articulations of mediation ethical standards for guidance?  So much ink has been spilled describing mediator standards, and so many hours have been devoted to parsing their every word, that some might hope the answer is “Yes, of course!”  But I doubt busy mediators ever consult them.  I personally … Continue reading Mediator Ethics … and What Actually Guides Us

Ongoing Relationships and the Perils of Gratitude

 Last week, I wondered aloud (or whatever the blog equivalent of “aloud” may be) why I had so few experiences in which mediation parties said “thank you” to each other upon arriving at a settlement.  Geoff Sharp indicated that his experience in New Zealand was different—that he routinely sees parties thanking each other early and often … Continue reading Ongoing Relationships and the Perils of Gratitude