Featured Blog Posts

  • Mediation

  • Negotiation

  • Divorce

  • Bankruptcy

MWI Mediation Blog

  • By Stephanie Bailey

    Ask any one of my friends or classmates what I am passionate about and they will tell you in one word: mediation. My roommate lovingly refers to me as the "Mediation Mermaid," and there is a running joke that I will spend my life facilitating the resolution of society's problems (including the MBTA). I spent this past spring researching mediation, interviewing mediators and business owners, and going through the steps of what it would take to own and operate my own firm. I spent three Friday nights in a row asking my roommates to give me hypothetical salaries to determine child support payments.

  • By Peter Sonnenbend, MWI Mediator

    Increasingly, courts are referring civil litigants to mediation. These courts recognize the benefits of a dispute resolution process that provides parties with the opportunity to explore the resolution of their dispute in an informal, non-adversarial forum. They understand that parties who are encouraged to listen to each other are more likely to structure a settlement that truly meets their needs. They also appreciate that when disputes settle in mediation it relieves courts of the burden of administering and trying the case.

  • 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.

MWI Negotiation Blog

  • By Chuck Doran and Stephanie Bailey

    Meetings are an integral fixture of every organization, and yet, they do not have the best reputation. In a survey conducted by Salary.com, meetings are the "number one productivity killer." Even worse news? A separate survey indicated that over half of the participants would rather do "any unpleasant activity" (even go to the DMV) than attend a status meeting, and employees spend nearly nine hours of every work week preparing for or sitting in meetings. The CEO of Mattel said his company lacked an "innovative culture" and finds bad meetings partially responsible. Al Pittampalli, author and "meeting culture" expert, calls ineffective meetings "weapons of mass interruption."

    Despite the fact that poorly-run meetings have become the laughing stock for cartoons like Dilbert and TV shows like "The Office,"...

  • By Chuck Doran and Stephanie Bailey

    "I thought if we walked away still on good terms, it meant I had lost." 

    I overheard someone say this quite recently regarding a disagreement with a close friend, and I thought, "Huh, how peculiar." 

    This seems to be the accepted mentality, at least in much of the United States, in times of conflict and negotiation. Despite the efforts of Roger Fisher and William Ury, negotiation is perceived as "getting your own way". If you walk away from a personal negotiation with the relationship still intact, you didn't express yourself clearly enough. If you walk away from a business negotiation and the other party seems pleased, was too much given away too easily? Not exactly. This mindset illustrates the misconstrued message that negotiation is a game with one winner and...

  • 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...

Divorce Mediation Blog

Bankruptcy & Finance ADR Blog

  • By Jack Esher, MWI Bankruptcy & Finance ADR Panel Member

    They say there is truth in numbers, and while insolvency practitioners experienced in reviewing balance sheets of distressed companies might agree that this is debatable, the results of deploying mediation in the Lehman Brothers liquidating Chapter 11 case in the Southern District of New York1 prove the value of mediation in insolvency cases.  The most recent status report filed in the proceedings on or about June 9, 2015 states that over $2.9 Billion had been collected in the 410 ADR matters resolved with 527 counterparties.  Of the 235 disputes that went through mediation and were concluded, 219 were settled and only 16 failed to reach settlement.2

  • 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...

  • 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.



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