The Power of Apology

Bob Meynardie Mediation Theory

In my experience, apologies in business or civil litigation mediation are the exception not the rule.  There may be good reasons for this but you should never underestimate the potential of a good apology for reaching a resolution.   Amongst the recent revelations coming from #MeToo the story of Dan Harmon and Megan Ganz did not make a lot of …

Bob MeynardieThe Power of Apology

Guided Choice Mediation: Nuts and Bolts

Bob Meynardie Guided Choice Mediation, Mediation

This post is part of our Guided Choice Mediation series, where we explore what it is, why it improves on traditional mediation, and how it works. Guided Choice Mediation is an evolving process that expands and builds on more common place facilitated settlement conferences.  Even a cursory review of Guided Choice principles demonstrates its potential to facilitate early resolution of complex legal disputes where …

Bob MeynardieGuided Choice Mediation: Nuts and Bolts

Exciting New Alternatives for Claims Resolution

Bob Meynardie Collaborative Law, Mediation

Resolving commercial and construction disputes is expensive. According to one source, 98% of commercial disputes are resolved prior to trial or arbitration. However, most are not resolved until the parties have spent an enormous amount of time, energy, and money on discovery and motions. Even worse, the parties are usually unable to continue a working relationship after this warfare. Fortunately, …

Bob MeynardieExciting New Alternatives for Claims Resolution

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?

Bob Meynardie Mediation Theory, Negotiation

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?

Bob Meynardie Uncategorized

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

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

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