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  • Negotiation

  • Mediation Training

  • Divorce

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MWI Negotiation Excellence Blog

  • By Chuck Doran and Carl Kjellman

    prepare to negotiate

    We often assume that we are objective and rational most of the time. We are prone to thinking that our own behavior falls completely within the bounds of reasonable and effective. Learning to check your own assumptions and managing them effectively can provide you with a significant payoff in terms of helping you negotiate more effectively and thereby get more of what you want.

    Consider your own past. Few among us can claim to have acted rationally in every moment of our lives, especially during times of stress or when we are faced with the possibility of not getting something we want. Desire often skews our judgment, and it behooves any negotiator to recognize this truth. Paragons of rationality and objectivity are few and far between, and this article does not suggest you need to become one before...

  • By Carl Kjellman, MWI Mediator

    iStock Reframing 000000222584Medium 325x225 resized 600In many cases, people enter a negotiation under the impression that their purpose is to successfully advocate for a preconceived position and that any deviation from their first proposal is a “step backwards.” As such, the process often becomes adversarial as someone is trying to beat their negotiating partner back so that they will accept their way of doing things. They will either find a winner and a loser or bargain for a compromise, in which case neither really gets what they want.

    This way of negotiating is less than optimal. Too often, negotiators get caught up in competing with the other side – which does not lead to the best possible outcome in many cases – and miss out on a lot of potential value. This article will discuss an idea known as reframing and how it...

  • By Mallory Minter, MWI Mediator

    Egypt Israel Peace Treaty resized 600In 1979, the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed by President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel. This treaty, facilitated by President Jimmy Carter of the United States, led to Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and the restoration of “normal friendly relations” between Egypt and Israel. Although the treaty was successfully signed and implemented, the negotiation process was far from easy. In fact, according to President Sadat, what President Carter did to facilitate this treaty “constitutes one of the greatest achievements of our time.”[1]

    During the negotiation process, it was well known that President Sadat did not like Prime Minister Begin personally, and that strong differences existed between both leaders. Nevertheless, with the help of President Carter, President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin were able to successfully separate their political relationship from the...

MWI Mediation Training Blog

  • By Howard N. Gorney, MWI Mediator & Arbitrator

    Howard Gorney is a commercial mediator and arbitrator with MWI.  Howard completed his initial mediation training with MWI in 2004.

    quarter-dollarRecently, at a mediation between a nation-wide franchisor and a local franchisee involving a dispute over compliance with the franchisor’s marketing rules and a debit of funds previously awarded as incentives to the franchisee, I was in a meeting with the franchisee discussing an offer of settlement from the franchisor. Under this franchise agreement, a franchisee could earn substantial incentive payments for sales of the franchisor’s products in specific marketing campaigns. However, if the requirements of any particular promotion were not strictly complied with, the franchisor could take back any previously paid sums as a penalty.

    After I conveyed what I personally thought was a very reasonable offer to the franchisee, he almost ignored...

  • By Josh Hoch, MWI's Director of Mediation & Arbitration Services

    certified divorce mediator in maI work in a firm that provides basic and advanced mediation and negotiation training.  Each April we offer a course in divorce mediation for trained mediators who want to incorporate divorce mediation into their practice.  I often hear from newly trained mediators that they do not see the need for an advanced divorce mediation training.  A few of the examples include:

    "I have been a family law attorney for 20 years, I know what I am doing."  "Role playing is a waste of time."  "I can teach the class, I've seen it all in court."  "I represented a high conflict client and got him to settle just before trial.  I can settle any case."

    I was trained in basic mediation in 1996 and then began volunteering as a mediator to gain case experience.  In 1998, I...

  • By Carl Kjellman, MWI Mediator

    I had a few minutetrust the mediation process mugs to chat with a new mediator who was in court to observe his first case and I was serving as the mediator. He expressed a fear that is common among new mediators: that the parties would refuse to engage or seek to deliberately undermine the mediation process.

    I thought back to my own relatively recent mediation training and recalled harboring very similar thoughts.  When I left my training, I had been furnished with an incredibly valuable and well-tested set of skills.  I had been afforded a great opportunity to learn from talented and experienced mediators who were firm advocates of the mediation process and had a great deal of cumulative experience.  They affirmed the efficacy of the process, and with good reason, but I had no frame of reference because of...

Divorce Mediation Blog

  • mediation vs arbitrationBy MWI Mediator & Arbitrator Anthony C. Adamopoulos

    When parties facing divorce measure the delays and the emotional and financial costs involved with in-court divorce litigation, they often consider alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”).

    Court litigation is a form of dispute resolution and ADR services are another form. The two alternatives are divorce mediation and divorce arbitration. While each is an effective alternative, each serves a different purpose and each has its own format. This posting will define arbitration and mediation for divorces in Massachusetts.

    Divorce Arbitration

    Arbitration is a form of dispute decision making made by a neutral called an arbitrator. The arbitrator’s sole responsibility is to decide a dispute between the parties. The dispute can be over any divorce issue. The arbitrator’s decision is called an Award. The Award, or its substance, is inserted...

  • massachusetts divorce lawsAs divorce mediators in Massachusetts, our clients frequently have questions regarding Massachusetts divorce laws. 

    Below, you’ll find helpful information and resources related to some of the Massachusetts divorce laws divorce mediation clients often find value in having more information about.

    What is a 1A No Fault Divorce? - If both parties agree to get divorced, they can jointly file for divorce through a Joint Petition for Divorce. This is known as a “1A” divorce. Filing a divorce on “no-fault” grounds means that your marriage has suffered an irretrievable breakdown with no possibility of reconciliation, regardless of any wrongdoing on the part of either spouse.

    This type of divorce allows spouses to file jointly in court as joint petitioners. Neither person is required to be the defendant, nor will either party be served with a subpoena. A 1A no-fault divorce is final 120 days after...

  • Massachusetts Divorce LawsConsumers have lots of options when choosing a divorce mediator in Massachusetts these days. What can be challenging for some is finding the right divorce mediator. While we always like getting new clients, it often bothers us to hear that people met with another mediator for a session or two before they determined he/she wasn't the right mediator for them.

    To help you select the right divorce mediator before spending or wasting any money, we put a list together of 5 ways to help you find the right mediator so you can achieve a successful mediation:

    1. Assess the Mediator’s Training and Experience

    Most professional mediators have had some type of formal mediation training.  Massachusetts only has one law which governs the practice of mediation, so almost anyone can call themselves a divorce mediator. Be careful. Determine what type of training your mediator has received.  Sample...

Bankruptcy Finance ADR Blog

  • bankruptcy mediation, bankruptcy adr

    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.

    In 1996, Bayou Fund was set up by Sam Israel, Daniel Marino, and James Marquez as a Ponzi scheme that attracted over $450 million from investors. In 2005, Bayou Group voluntarily liquidated and promised 100 percent returns to its investors. To remain operational, the company paid redemption requests with investments from other investors, rather than from profits. On May 30, 2006, Bayou Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and later filed 120 adversary proceedings that continued through 2008.


  • HOSTESS SHUTDOWN 28341157 resized 600

    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.

    In the absence of a bankruptcy settlement, 18,500 employees lost their jobs due to the subsequent liquidation. In response to the liquidation announcement, Hostess snacks were put on rush order and the remaining products sold out within a few...

  • microphones image

    By Tad Mayer, MWI Director of Commercial & Corporate Programs

    TM:  I am speaking with Eric J. Haber, a member of the MWI Bankruptcy & Finance ADR Panel. Thank you, Eric, for taking the time to speak with me. To get started, please tell me about your background as it relates to bankruptcy.

    EH:  I have a wide ranging background in the bankruptcy field.  First, I’ve acted as the mediator in over one hundred adversary proceedings in such cases as Quebecor, Value City Department Stores, Tower Manufacturing and Ultimate Electronics, and I was also appointed to the panels of mediators in Borders and Lyondell Chemical.  Second, in private practice I’ve worked on a variety of matters representing, among other things, creditors’ committees, distressed investors, equity committees and also debtors.  Third, I’ve also done a great deal of...



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