Ninety Nine Words of Advice for Lawyers

November 5th, 2014

Ninety-nine out of one hundred filed cases won’t end in a trial. Why are you preparing for trials in 100% of your cases when only 1% of them will have one? The majority of those lawsuits will end in an agreement. Don’t presume litigating is the only way to get to those agreements. Maybe that’s all you were taught in school, the only thing the lawyers in your town do or even what your client expects. There are more efficient and effective ways to reach agreement. They will endear you to your clients and generate more referrals. Find them.

Word Cloud

April 8th, 2013

Here’s a word cloud made from this blog. I think it tells a pretty good story about what’s being talked about here.

Word Cloud from Jeff Bean's Blog

Click here to see the word cloud on Wordle or to create your own.

What are Your Conflict Questions?

January 8th, 2013

How to get from A to B?I have a favor to ask. You can help me out with a project. All I need to know is this: what are your conflict questions?

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Is There a Warranty on that Hex?

October 2nd, 2012

eBay has banned the sale of magic spells.

No more tarot card readings. No more conjurings. No more magic potions.

Darn. And I was just about to go buy me some digital JuJu.

Why did eBay stop? The answer warms this dispute resolution professional’s heart.

eBay will no longer serve as a marketplace for the sale of these services because they “often result in issues that can be difficult to resolve.”

Well, ya think?! Read the rest of this entry »

You Can Do Better Than Justice

September 25th, 2012

You Can Do Better than JusticeIn mediations we often hear the parties justify their positions using legal words and terms of law. They may have had lawyers advise them or not. They may have studied-up on their own. Or they may have simply absorbed our legal-adversarial culture watching lawyer dramas on television. Wherever they got them, they’ll use the words that sound a lot like legal claims or defenses.

Even if they don’t use the word, they’re talking about Justice.

I tell my mediation clients they can do better than Justice.

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Conflict is a Sound that Change Makes

September 18th, 2012

Conflict is a sound that change makesTwo ships had been steaming in formation. There has been a change. They are now on a collision course.

Gears in a machine had meshed well before. They have shifted slightly. They are now grinding against each other.

The machine had once been working well: efficiently, smoothly and quietly. Somewhere there has been a change. It is now less efficient. More energy is needed to get the same amount of work done. There is friction. It now makes noise. Read the rest of this entry »

A Common Problem

September 11th, 2012

People in conflict have a common problem, even if they don’t see it that way. Here’s what it is.

They both want something the other has. That alone isn’t really a problem. The problem is they’re both afraid they won’t get it.

Mediators can help them find a solution even if they only focus on what they see as their own side of the problem. Yet if they are able and willing address their common problem they can create many more possible solutions.

photo credit: thienzieyung via photo pin cc

Practice Talking

September 4th, 2012

“Don’t talk religion or politics. It’s not polite.”

That was the conditioning I received growing-up. Of course as children we heard the adults doing exactly that: talking religion and politics. They did it after the kids had gone to bed, in veiled but intense tones. Their vowels were hushed in stage-whispers, yet we heard them spit out their consonants at those who thought differently than them.

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Do You Really Want to Settle?

August 28th, 2012

Dust SettlesLawsuits settle. We settle for less. Dust settles.

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Make No Concessions

August 21st, 2012

To make concessions is to let go. To give-up.

Don’t do it. And don’t act like you’re doing it when you’re not.

You’ve got something better you can do. Read the rest of this entry »