Featured Blog Posts

  • Negotiation

  • Divorce

  • Mediation Training

  • Bankruptcy

MWI Negotiation Excellence Blog

  • By Chuck Doran and Stephanie Bailey

    Women struggling in the workplace is by no means a new topic.  With Sheryl Sandberg's best-selling book, Lean In, movements such as "Ban Bossy," and social media campaigns advocating "He For She," there have been initiatives from men and women in recent years to address women-in-the-workplace issues. In 2010, women made up roughly 47 percent of the workforce, but today, some women still struggle with negotiation, an important part of everyday work life that spans all industries.

    Much of the research surrounding women and negotiation is specific to negotiating salaries, which may explain, in part, the wage earnings gap between men and women. Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, co-authors of the book Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, found that 20 percent of adult women will never negotiate regardless of the setting, and men will initiate negotiations about four times more frequently than women.  A 2014 Business Insider article compiled a list...

  • By Chuck Doran and Katie Hyten, MWI Mediators

    If asked which part of a company handles negotiations, most people would automatically turn to the HR division. For many, negotiation in the workplace occurs in two major areas: contract or salary negotiations and workplace disputes. And neither of those are particularly positive experiences.  But in 2011, the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) recognized “tectonic shifts in business management and procurement” with enormous ramifications for the use of negotiation tools in broader areas of the workplace.

  • By Katie Hyten, MWI Mediator

    Ezra Klein recently jumpstarted his online news project, Vox , with a self-authored article entitled, " How politics makes us stupid. " In this article, Klein cites somew hat c ounterintuitive research that indicates the more information partisan voters receive, the more entrenched they become in their beliefs – even if the information provided debunks those beliefs. According to research by Yale Law Professor Dan Kahan and co-authors, when asked questions that may threaten our group’s identity, we instinctively answer in a way that rationalizes our group’s reasoning. He calls this theory Identity-Protective Cognition: people tend to care more about defending their group’s inherent right-ness than about finding the truth.

Divorce Mediation Blog

  • When couples are faced with the reality of divorce, it can be overwhelming.  There will be many decisions to make regarding how you are going to build new separate lives and how all the pieces will fit.  Mediation may help.

    Divorce Mediation provides a forum for spouses to communicate confidentially in a non-adversarial environment with a neutral Mediator.  

    Here are 8 tips to reach success using mediation in your divorce:

  • Divorce can be a real pain in the assets, but it doesn’t have to hurt … much. Why not try divorce mediation?

    By Sabrina R. Bohun and Josh Hoch

    Divorce mediation is a process by which couples meet with a divorce mediator to work out the terms of their divorce. A Mediator is a neutral, third party who does not give advice, impose solutions or tell the parties what to do. Instead, a Mediator assists couples in identifying the topics they need to address and provides an environment that is conducive to finding common ground.

  • "People won't get great at their jobs unless you do a great job at giving them feedback."

    Every Monday through Thursday, MWI mediators provide mediation services to litigants in the Norfolk Probate and Family Court Department. Mediation is offered on site and free of charge. The mediators who volunteer their time often do so to become more effective divorce mediators.

    Learning to be a mediator is like learning to drive a car.  Before you drive, you read a book, take a class, and sit in the back seat for a while.  Then you start driving with someone sitting next to you letting you know what you are doing well and when you are doing something unsafe.

MWI Mediation Training Blog

  • One of the best parts about leading mediation trainings is hearing from past trainees about how the training program has helped them.  Recently we received the following unsolicited email:

  • By Katie Hyten, MWI Mediator

    I participated in the MWI Mediation Training with about twenty other students at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in January 2013. Two days into the training, the ever-patient trainers gave us an opportunity to ask any questions still lingering after the first weekend. I imagine they regretted this very quickly. To their dismay, our trainers had to spend no less than half an hour responding to the same question. It turns out, all twenty of us entered the training firmly believing we were there to solve the conflict for the parties. We asked question after question that reiterated: “But what if I know the best agreement? Can’t I simply tell the parties what to do?”

    Over the next half hour, our trainers asked us to consider the idea...

  • By Chuck Doran and Katie Hyten, MWI Mediators

    After trying to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, Kerry has been somewhat unceremoniously extricated from the conflict resolution processes. And as Israel pulled back from US mediation efforts in favor of an Egypt-brokered process, Kerry saw his efforts to mediate a settlement fall apart for the second time in as many years. Egyptian-brokered ceasefires have remained largely intact, while Kerry’s involvement has been universally berated.

Bankruptcy & Finance ADR Blog

  • By Eric Haber, MWI Bankruptcy & Finance ADR Panel Member and Romina Redondo, MWI Staff

    At the start of every mediation, I tell the parties that I have two simple rules.  The first is that the mediation is a confidential settlement conference. The second is that I will file a public, one-line report stating whether or not the case settles and I will not speak with the judge about the mediation. The goal of these statements is twofold: to help parties feel comfortable speaking freely and confidentially during the mediation process and to remind them that in bankruptcy mediation, confidentiality matters.

    Rules on confidentiality vary at the state and federal levels; only 12 states have adopted the Uniform Mediation Act (UMA) drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

  • By Frank Conrad, MWI Bankruptcy & Finance ADR Panel Member and Rachael Diament, MWI Staff

    Bankruptcy Judge Robert D. Drain of the Southern District of New York ordered the unsecured creditors of the inoperative hedge fund manager Bayou Group LLC and Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearing LP into mediation regarding a sum of $20.7 million that has been in dispute for five years.

  • by Rachael Diament, MWI Staff

    Twinkies will be returning to store shelves July 15, 2013. Earlier this year, Hostess Brands filed for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a Bakery Workers Union strike that could not be resolved. The company claims to have been struggling under higher pensions and medical bills than its competitors due to its unionized workers. At the same time, Hostess employees claim mismanagement and executive hesitation to invest in new brands following changes in consumer tastes crippled the company. Hostess and the unionized workers failed to reach a settlement through negotiation and the bankruptcy mediation process.

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