Can Arbitration Be Saved?

Bob Meynardie Arbitration

I preface this post with the disclosure that in my practice I serve both as an arbitrator — AAA administered and privately administered — and as an advocate in arbitration. In talking to lawyers throughout North Carolina, I hear the same statement over and over again: I would never advise my client to opt for arbitration over litigation.  Why is …

Bob MeynardieCan Arbitration Be Saved?

The Mediator’s Role In Positional Bargaining – Part 1

Bob Meynardie Mediation Theory

In spite of an acknowledged preference for interest-based “principled” negotiation, I acknowledged in my previous post that every civil mediation eventually becomes a positional battle.  This is largely because virtually every civil litigation is resolved based upon an exchange of money and litigation combatants are rarely seeking to preserve a long-term relationship after resolution. If, in fact, negotiations in mediation …

Bob MeynardieThe Mediator’s Role In Positional Bargaining – Part 1

Is Positional Bargaining Unavoidable?

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One of the primary tenets of Roger Fisher and William Ury’s book “Getting to Yes” is that negotiations should focus on interests not positions, i.e., avoid positional bargaining.  Positional bargaining takes place when each side takes a position, argues for that position, and reluctantly makes concessions from the opening position.  Fisher & Ury instead contend that wiser and more efficient …

Bob MeynardieIs Positional Bargaining Unavoidable?

Are You Competitive or Cooperative?

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As a 49ers fan I have been intrigued by stories about the former head coach, Jim Harbaugh. His brother, Ravens coach John Harbaugh, tells the story of how as a Little League baseball player Jim threw high and tight to a female batter on the other team. Apparently this caused some stir but Jim unapologetically explains that he had to …

Bob MeynardieAre You Competitive or Cooperative?

New AAA Rules for Fixed Time & Cost Construction Arbitration

Bob Meynardie Arbitration, Rules

The American Arbitration Association recently announced new streamlined rules for arbitration specifically designed for the construction industry. AAA believes that the new procedures are most appropriate in cases involving discrete issues that require limited document exchange or other discovery. The Rules definitely anticipate the parties cooperating at a level that is sometimes difficult to achieve in practice. The Rules are …

Bob MeynardieNew AAA Rules for Fixed Time & Cost Construction Arbitration

Amazing Face Reading

Bob Meynardie Negotiation Leave a Comment

At a recent meeting of a trade group, the lunch time speaker was Mac Fulfer, a lawyer and professional face reader. So what is a face reader and why am I talking about it in a blog about negotiation skills. Mr. Fulfer contends that there are about 150 facial characteristics that can be read to learn useful insights about a …

Bob MeynardieAmazing Face Reading

Getting to Yes: Focus on Interests Not Positions

Bob Meynardie Mediation Theory Leave a Comment

By far the most often quoted tenet of “the Method” is to avoid positional bargaining and instead focus on the underlying interests of the opposite sides. Fisher & Ury illustrate their point with the story of two people in a library arguing over whether a window should be open or closed. The opposing positions are open on the one hand …

Bob MeynardieGetting to Yes: Focus on Interests Not Positions

Power in Negotiation

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Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying that “Necessity never made a good bargain!” In his wonderful book, Practical Negotiating, Tom Gosselin contends that “In negotiating, power is a function of alternatives.”   Gosselin is right, of course, and hopefully a discussion of alternatives brings to mind Ury & Fisher’s BATNA (Best Alternative to  a Negotiated Agreement) concept.  Gosselin goes further …

Bob MeynardiePower in Negotiation

Getting to Yes: Separate the People from the Problem

Bob Meynardie Mediation Theory, Negotiation Leave a Comment

The first tenet of what Fisher & Ury call “The Method” is to separate the people from the problem. Although I think I understood their point when I first read the book, over time what stuck with me was the title not the underlying principal. As an advocate and mediator dealing primarily with business disputes, it is tempting to try …

Bob MeynardieGetting to Yes: Separate the People from the Problem

Back To The Basics

Bob Meynardie Mediation Theory, Negotiation Leave a Comment

I have recently been reading a number of relatively new books with claims of a revolutionary new way to approach negotiation. Without exception and without naming names, each new source has been insightful and a new perspective on the negotiation process that every one of us is involved in every day. Almost without exception, however, each new source compares itself …

Bob MeynardieBack To The Basics