By Stephen Ware, a law professor at KU, in Lawrence, Kansas.

Principles of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Principles of Alternative Dispute Resolution
Principles of Alternative Dispute Resolution, in its third edition, is a Concise Hornbook, published by West Academic. More information is available by clicking on the photo.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Contempt Sanctions due to Settlement Conference

"Settlement conference" means different things in different places but the usual meaning is something like mediation conducted by the judge presiding over the case.  Following judges' orders related to settlement conferences, like following other court orders, is obviously important.  Here is an example of contempt sanctions imposed on a party that failed to comply.

As Mary Novak at Just Court ADR explains: Judge Janet Berry did not believe the insurers had complied in good faith with her rules on authority to settle, she found the company in contempt and sanctioned them $50,000.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lawyers as (Good and Bad) Deal Killers

Karrass at Negotiation Space writes:

Lawyers are great deal killers. If you tried to bargain away every danger the lawyers foresaw, the negotiation would never end. ...
Lawyers, nevertheless, had an important function in reviewing the final contract.  They found areas in which our company vulnerability was too high for comfort. They left us to decide whether we could live with the potential danger or if we needed greater protection. Our decision was made on the basis of the other side’s track record as a reliable seller and their willingness to relieve our vulnerability by granting necessary warranties.
The trouble with these deal-killers is that they are far removed from the real marketplace, while the salesperson is on the front line with buyers every day.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mediation in New Zealand

Victoria University Law Professor Grant Hamilton Morris
writes that "the modern mediation movement is primarily a result of state-led reform in a variety of legal areas. Much of this reform has been influenced by overseas models emphasising New Zealand’s role as a 'fast-follower' of alternative dispute resolution trends rather than an initiator. The rise of mediation in New Zealand has been ad hoc and pragmatic with a distinct lack of systematic development. This pragmatic change was a response to pressures such as the cost and delay involved in litigation, and major social trends challenging traditional ways, including traditional approaches to resolving disputes. Mediation continues to play a vital role in the New Zealand legal system but the exponential growth of the 1980s and 1990s has slowed as mediation begins to clearly locate and confirm its 'territory' in the New Zealand legal system."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014