Hello SCMA Professional Development Group Members:
You are cordially invited to our next meeting to take place as follows:
Please note the change of location from our recent meetings… we’re inching closer to the ocean breeze!)
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Santa Monica Public Library
Community Meeting Room
601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica 90401
Street parking is available on streets around the library. Please read all street signs for any parking limitations or parking meter information. There is also a Library parking structure accessible from 7th Street. Parking structure hours are until 11 p.m. Rates are $1 per hour for the first two hours and thirty minutes. After that, the rate is $1 per thirty minutes, with a maximum of $10. Unfortunately the Library does not validate.
About our Meeting: For our next meeting we will hold another of our Open Forum sessions. Open Forum is a roundtable discussion where attendees can share ideas and ask questions of each other in a casual environment. Talk about your practice and cases… what’s working well and what’s giving you fits, or bring marketing/presentation ideas to “test out” in a small, friendly environment. Anything goes! Attendees are encouraged to send me a topic or two in advance of the meeting so we can be sure to cover the issues that matter most to everyone.
So come join us… you can even take in some fun on the 3rd Street Promenade a few blocks away before or after the meeting!
Please R.S.V.P. via email email@example.com. Feel free to bring a snack, beverage or sweets to share with the group.
The next meeting of the Pasadena Area PDG (Professional Development Group) will be Monday, April 6, 2015.
At our last meeting, newest member Andrea Martinez Gonzalez enlightened us about the very complicated (and far-from-resolved) issue of mediator confidentiality. We must all stay tuned! Thanks for jumping right in Andrea – and welcome.
Next time we will be discussing Value Pricing. This topic has bubbled up several times in past months, so it is time to explore it. Are you in? I know very little about it and would love to hear more. If you think you may be able to provide some intel and/or lead the discussion please join us.
Meeting at the offices of:
Mediator & Attorney at Law
840 East Green Street
Pasadena, California 91101
Hello SCMA Professional Development Group Members (f/k/a Study Group):
You are cordially invited to our next meeting to take place as follows (please note the change of location from our recent meetings):
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Wendy Kramer’s Offices
2001 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 205
Santa Monica 90403
Mark’s cell (310) 490-6804
Street parking is available on streets around the building. Please read all street signs for any parking limitations or parking meter information.
About our Meeting: Thanks again to everyone who attended last month’s Expanding Your Mediator’sToolkit meeting with guest speaker Ken Cloke! For our next meeting we will hold another of our Open Forum sessions. Open Forum is a roundtable discussion where attendees can share ideas and ask questions of each other in a casual environment. Talk about your practice and cases… what’s working well and what’s giving you fits, or bring marketing ideas to “test out” in a small, friendly environment. Anything goes! Attendees are encouraged to send me a topic or two in advance of the meeting so we can be sure to cover the issues that matter most to everyone.
l“Please rsvp by email to firstname.lastname@example.org”. Feel free to bring a snack, beverage or sweets to share with the group.
All the best,
The Mark Lewis Firm
LIMITED SPACE – only first 20 to respond will be included, call now!!
The SCMA Westside Study Group is extremely excited to offer a unique installment in our “Expanding Your Mediator’s Toolkit” series. This installment, called Perspectives on Cuba, will explore fascinating discussion points of interest to dispute resolution practitioners following the recent policy changes between the United States and Cuba.
To lead the way, we have the privilege of welcoming Kenneth Cloke as our guest speaker. For many of us in the dispute resolution field, Ken’s exceptional reputation precedes him. As Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution, Ken has served as a mediator, arbitrator, attorney, coach, consultant and trainer. He specializes in resolving complex multi-party conflicts which include: community, grievance and workplace disputes, collective bargaining negotiations, organizational and school conflicts, sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits, and public policy disputes. Ken also provides services in designing conflict resolution systems for organizations. He is a nationally recognized speaker and author of many books and journal articles.
Also included in Ken’s lengthy list of accomplishments are his years of experience in Cuba discussing peacemaking and problem solving. Ken has provided us with this description of his work:
“For over 17 years, Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith traveled to Cuba, generally twice a year, bringing over 40 U.S. management consultants to engage in informal scholarly exchanges discussing world-class management theories and best practices, together with trainings and exchanges on effective communication, collaborative negotiation, informal problem solving, mediation and conflict resolution. These exchanges included many meetings with Fidel Castro, work with most government Ministers and leaders of ministries, hundreds of management professors, all university presidents and numerous enterprise managers.”
Ken’s perspectives are certain to stimulate a lively discussion on an topic with global implications. Join us for this special evening.
Please R.S.V.P. via email as space is limited to 20 participants on a first come-first serve basis. Feel free to bring a snack, beverage or sweets to share with the group.
A special thanks to one of our newest Westside Study Group members, Joelle Bailard. It was Joelle’s initiative that has brought this wonderful program to our group. A debt of gratitude!
Thursday, February 19, 2015
The Mark Lewis Firm
11620 Wilshire Blvd., 9th Floor
W. Los Angeles, CA 90025
Mark’s cell (310) 490-6804
Thursday 9/18 from 4-6pm @ Corporate Alliance Address: 9171 Towne Centre Dr #180, San Diego, CA 92122
COST: $25 / $15 students, including CLE credits
Join SCMA for a presentation on the latest Negotiation techniques & practical tips for attorneys and dispute resolution practitioners presented by the dynamic duo of Dale Ordas and Hass Sadeghi. The Art of Negotiation will explore various ways practitioners can optimize their negotiations to achieve intended outcomes.
Rethinking Negotiation Strategy by Dale E. Ordas The charisma of the designation “trial lawyer” is not shared by “negotiator.” However, since less than 5 percent of civil cases go through trial, enhancing your negotiating repertoire will likely reap rewards. In contrast to trial, where control of the outcome rests with the Court and/or Jury, a skilled negotiator can retain control of the outcome for the client. Therefore, it behooves the prudent litigator to augment your negotiator prowess. In the past, negotiation was not a part of law school curriculum. Today, law schools have entire sections devoted to negotiation and allied disciplines (e.g., mediation). While there is much to be gained from these courses of study, simply adding the following implements to your negotiator’s tool belt will likely have a positive impact on your scorecard.
Develop a game plan for your negotiations. Research key issues, check jury verdicts for results in similar cases and work out a realistic evaluation of your client’s case. Identify the issues, risks and interests of your client and opponents. Outlining your offers and responses to anticipated counters enables you to maintain the tempo of the process, during actual negotiations. Look for “value added” non-monetary items such as an apology that can be just what is needed to clinch a deal. Googling opponents may yield valuable insights for your strategy. An absolutely inviolable rule is to provide your adversary with sufficient information (e.g., records, data and evidence) to obtain maximum authority.
Try a little civility. Start by setting a more positive tone for your negotiations at the outset. Instead of insisting on your preferred mediator, engage your opponent in a more collaborative way by asking for suggestions. This is likely to create a more collegial interaction for the negotiations. In pre-mediation communication such as teleconferences, refraining from pyrotechnics is more likely to build trust that can pay dividends as the negotiations progress.
If adversarial “hardball” tactics are not settling your cases, isn’t continuing imprudent? If you want your opponent to agree with your position on issues, is belittling your opponent’s case, overstating yours, or making pejorative comments the key to making that happen? Ratchet down your rhetoric. The same applies to puffing and posturing with excessive demands countered by lowball offers and the tired old classics “… I won’t negotiate against myself!” Avoid being drawn into personality conflicts (it is your clients’ case, it is not about you).
Instead follow the lead of the masters, “… When negotiations stall, stop (to think), look (keep your eyes on the prize), identify the stakeholders and listen (to yourself; reactions and emotions) then step to their side (step into their shoes), listen more than talk, acknowledge their point …” For those accustomed to the “settlement conference model,” in which the Judge dictates the process and does the heavy lifting by pressuring and cajoling the parties to remove the case from the docket, it may take some time and effort to develop a comfortable transition.
Include a “plan B” to deal with unforeseen roadblocks. If in the midst of negotiations, your client is stuck, is unrealistic or is fixated on a zero sum game, consider requesting a mediator proposal. This non-binding tool can be an effective way of easing the process past a stalemate. Another possibility is med-arb. This hybrid process has a history in labor-management and commercial disputes, though it is not without its’ detractors.
Be mindful of cultural differences, which can scuttle a resolution if not handled adroitly. If you don’t have a copy of “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands”, it’s a great quick resource for avoiding cultural faux pas. A person’s culture or cultural identity is formed by a constellation of factors, inter alia, education, religiosity, ethnicity, social affiliations, vocation, gender identity and philosophic perspective. “Culture is more often a source of conflict than synergy …” Gender based stylistic differences in speech must also be considered in your strategy. Women tend to engage in “rapport” talk, which they tend to lace with validation, while engaging in non-verbal conduct (nodding, leaning forward coupled with eye direct contact). Men generally use “report” speech to convey information.
Don’t overlook your client’s role in the negotiations. Make sure that you and your client(s) are on the same page. Reduce client anxiety by making sure that there is an understanding of the negotiation process and the client’s role. In contrast to the ‘settlement conference model” your client’s participation is likely to be the key to maximizing the outcome. Restricting the client’s role to speaking only through you is likely to constrict the negotiations. Don’t scrimp on the time devoted to client preparation lest your client’s misconceptions about the process will undermine the negotiations. Make sure your client understands that not being combative is not capitulation and that shaking hands with opposing counsel is strategic, not selling out. Be sure that you and your client allocate sufficient time for the negotiations. Leaving the mediation before its completion regardless of the reason, may cause irreparable harm to the negotiations.
Preparation of a brief statement of your client’s case serves multiple essential functions. It will cause you to focus on key issues and how to deal with them. Word selection in the drafting of your brief and framing demands can pay dividends. Providing a copy of your brief to your client will aid client preparation and minimize the likelihood of mishaps during the negotiation process. The brief should be focused on the issues and only long enough to cover them. Provide a copy of the brief to your opponents to ensure that they will come to the table with sufficient authority. Finally, make sure to provide the brief to all necessary parties, including the mediator, sufficiently in advance of the negotiations. Otherwise, your mediator will be required to learn about the case during the mediation session, which will add to its length and cost.
In an earlier century a country lawyer said “… discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser–in fees, expenses, and waste of time …” So follow the lead of Abraham Lincoln, one of our wisest presidents. Prepare, keep a cool head and remember that compromise is not a dirty word, it is synonymous with negotiation.
 Beyond Winning(supra, pages254-261
 Legal Counseling, Negotiating and Mediating: A Practical ApproachbyG. Nicolas Herman, Jean M. Cary (pages 230-231, 268-269); Negotiation Mastery for the Legal Pro by Douglas E. Noll (pages 82-85)
 The Power of Apology by Beverly Engel.
 Beyond Winning(Robert H. Mnookin 2000, pages 24-43)
 Getting to Yes, Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In(Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton, 1991 update of the original)
 Med-Arb and Its Variants: Ethical Issues for Parties and Neutrals. by Richard Fullerton; See also Med-Arb: The Best of Both Worlds May Be Too Good to be True; by Brian A. Pappas; Note that AAAdoes not recommend same-neutral med-arb “except in unusual circumstances because it could inhibit the candor which should characterize the mediation process and/or it could convey evidence, legal points or settlement positions exparte improperly influencing the arbitrator.” However, the AAAsays it will administer a case using same-neutral med-arb if that is what the parties want. JAMS, also, does not recommend same-neutral med-arb, but will administer such a process if the parties expressly agree to it. The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), on the other hand, promotes having two neutrals. “[T]o ensure the integrity of the arbitration process, Med/ Arb agreements should provide that then arbitrator shall not be the same person who served as mediator in the matter.”‘? In contrast, Deborah Katz of the Expanded Conflict Management Processes Committee of the Dispute Resolution Section of the ABA has said: After completing the mediation session, it is not unusual for the parties to agree to have the mediator continue on as the arbitrator as long as the parties do not feel that they have shared any private or confidential information with the mediator that might adversely affect the decision of the mediator/arbitrator.” No professional dispute organization has been found that recommends the practice of med-arb without conditions.