Michelle Obama’s fabulous memoir, Becoming, has valuable lessons for us in legal education and practice. This post first summarizes the book and then describes some of these lessons. The book is a chronological narrative of Ms. Obama’s life, which is fascinating in itself, though I was particularly interested in her portrayals of the worlds she … Continue reading Becoming Ourselves
From Debra Gerardi: “Wholeness is not a place you can get to. Wholeness is a kind of attitude or approach to the whole of life. It’s a way.” David Bohm The University of California Hastings College of the Law held a two-day symposium last month entitled, The Integrated Lawyer: A Symposium on Well-Being and the … Continue reading Notes from Hastings’s Symposium on The Integrated Lawyer
In a recent post, I described the intense stress that individual and organizational litigants often undergo as a result of litigation. The legal system attracts and magnifies stressful conflicts, which affects everyone in its ambit. In addition to litigants, this includes law students, lawyers, and legal academics. This post provides excerpts from my research summarizing … Continue reading Legal Stress
“About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should stop.” That’s what lawyer Elihu Root supposedly said a century ago. Many lawyers are frustrated with their actual clients at times and are tempted to tell them the same thing – and sometimes do. There … Continue reading Stop Being a Damned Fool
I recently visited our DR friends and colleagues at Quinnipiac, courtesy of an invitation from Charlie Pillsbury, the co-director of their Center on Dispute Resolution. He invited me to give a talk as part of the Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop. Using the patented Stone Soup process of systematically eliciting input from audiences, I tested some … Continue reading How Can Practitioners Help Clients Assess Their Interests and Risks in Litigation?
Over the past year, we have witnessed growing evidence of the massive failures of our legal system to deal properly with a rampant system in which powerful men sexually dominate others, especially women. This post describes the nature, magnitude, and consequences of a long-term history of criminal and civil sexual offenses in the US and … Continue reading How Can We Fix Legal System Failures to Properly Handle Sexual Offenses?
The first episode of the Serial podcast’s new season is a dramatic illustration of how much you can learn from a single case. The case involves a young white woman who was prosecuted for her participation in a bar fight. The Serial team are incredible storytellers, so this podcast is not “just” educational, but it … Continue reading Serial Podcast Shows How Much You Can Learn From a Single Case
I just wrote a post describing “litigation stress” that parties experience during litigation, noting that this can be particularly painful in some cases like those involving sexual assault allegations. Allegations of sexual assault by Judge Brett Kavanaugh have been in the news a lot lately. While these allegations aren’t being litigated in court, the process … Continue reading Real-Life Account of Litigation Stress in Bill Cosby Case
Litigation offers many potential benefits. It can help people solve difficult problems, make relationships and institutions function properly, and promote justice. It enables people to enlist legitimate, independent government officials to resolve disputes when the parties can’t resolve disputes themselves. Indeed, litigation provides mechanisms for structuring dispute resolution processes that enable most parties to ultimately … Continue reading Reality-Testing Questions for Real Life and Simulations – and Ideas for Stone Soup Assignments
As you gear up for the new year, here’s a reminder of some of my favorite things you might require or recommend that students read. My short “Letter to Kelly” provides advice for new 1Ls. If you teach a 1L course, you might assign it even though it doesn’t focus on any particular 1L subject. … Continue reading Readings and Resources for Teaching
Michaela Keet and Heather Heavin (Saskatchewan), have been studying “litigation risk assessment” (LRA), something you probably teach using different names. You probably emphasize the importance of analyzing BATNAs and preparing for negotiation and mediation, which are basic elements of LRA. Building on their own and others’ research, they developed a simple but comprehensive framework for practitioners … Continue reading Keet and Heavin on Why Litigation Risk Assessment is So Darn Important for Lawyers and Mediators – And How You Can Make Stone Soup With It
We all know about situations when people say that they really like the idea of ADR, but it’s not appropriate in their particular case. Sometimes there are very good reasons not to use an ADR process. Other times, not so much. There may be similarities in some people’s reaction to the idea of using a … Continue reading Stone Soup: It’s a Great Idea But . . .