Featured Blog Posts

  • Negotiation

  • Divorce

  • Mediation

  • Bankruptcy

MWI Negotiation Blog

  • by Chuck Doran and Stephanie Bailey

    Negotiation has earned, or perhaps always had, a rather negative connotation. It is a process that we use daily, but for some reason, negotiation is often thought of as a competitive battle where all of the parties involved walk away frustrated, annoyed, and/or disappointed.

    Regardless of the fact that negotiations take place on all levels (small, large, intrapersonal, group, etc.), we seem to instictively build them up until they seem almost too big to handle. Negotiating can be intimidating and disliked enough under "normal" circumstances, but then comes the difficult reality: sometimes you are going to negotiate against a bully or on the perceived short end of a power imbalance. While the likelihood of making these negotiations completely painless is unlikely, we're hoping that the following ideas will both validate your feelings of frustration and help you better manage a manipulative...

  • 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.

Divorce Mediation Blog

  • By Stephanie Bailey

    I was recently able to participate in MWI's Divorce Mediation Training Program and it was incredible.

  • by John L. DeLorey, Jr., Principal - collegeplanningservices.org

    Many divorced parents have questions about financial aid for college.  This article will answer some of those questions including:

    1. Which parent needs to fill out the financial aid forms?

    2. Are Prenuptial agreements recognized by college?

  • Divorce can conjure up many four letter words.  MWI knows that mediation can bring one to the forefront:  “Hope.”

    Divorce for Grownups, written by David Magnuson, provides readers with realistic options, as well as a road map, for how to proceed through a divorce.

    Although the details are specific to California where he practices, this book may help divorcing parties in any state nail down potential interests and develop options relating to their own divorce.

    This blog author practices divorce mediation in Massachusetts. As such, readers will find helpful information regarding the Commonwealth and links included. MWI offers mediation in most States including Massachusetts and California.  Call 800-348-4888 x23.

    Here are six highlights from Divorce for Grownups:

MWI Mediation Blog

  • Over the weekend, I attended the 9th Annual Harvard Negotiation Law Review Symposium. This year's topic was on restorative justice. Restorative justice is a "victim-motivated" model that suggests bringing together victims, offenders, and community members in order to repair harm caused by crime.

  • 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 that,...

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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