Thursday, March 10, 2016

Emotional and Evaluative Elements of Mediation

by Philip J. Glick, Esq.

When one mediates a dispute, it may surprise the mediator that the parties may be unwilling to objectively look at the case. Indeed, an intelligent person can choose to stick to a position that ignores obvious reality, possibly even in the face of advice of counsel to the contrary.

Why does this happen? I think it is a kind of pleasure principal at work. Indeed, it is immensely pleasing to justify one's actions, even where serious risk is created. One bathes in the glow of his or her own goodness and righteousness while the other side is perceived as trying to avoid responsibility and is guilty of legal, economic and moral wrong. It's like a theatrical production, with casting, choreography, and publicity all by the party who refuses to see the truth.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Working with a Pro Se Claimant: Making Mediation Productive and Peaceful

by Nancy Black Norelli

No one ever said practicing law or mediating cases was going to be easy. If it was, then just about anyone could do it and that's emphatically not the case. However, the complexity involved doesn't stop everyone from taking on the legal system pro se with no training or skills, and expecting justice to be best served.

The self-representing claimant certainly has a place in our legal system. Some people cannot afford an attorney and some people simply don't trust attorneys. But at the end of the day, everyone has the choice to exercise his or her legal rights as they see fit. The fact of the matter is your job gets a little bit trickier when you, as a trained mediator, encounter a pro se party.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Learned the Hard Way: True Stories of Landlord-Tenant Law

by Robin L. Unander, Esq.

1. Unwelcome Dog

I assisted a tenant last summer who was facing eviction for having asked to have a small dog. The basis of the request was a companion animal for her because she suffered anxiety and depression. She made the request after residing in the unit for less than a month, and was told "no." She brought the dog to management to show them, and forwarded an email from her treatment provider (a licensed, clinical social worker who diagnosed her and was counseling her). Management unequivocally again said "no." No request for further documentation or information from her treating provider was made by management. Tenant had the dog removed from the apartment same day.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Reasonable Accommodation Disputes in Disability Discrimination Cases

by Kenneth J. Rose, Esq.

"Reasonable accommodation" is one of (if not) the fundamental component(s) of Federal and State legislation barring workplace discrimination against individuals who have covered disabilities or religious beliefs. In both disability and religious employment discrimination litigation, most often the underlying battle concerns the employer's legal duty to reasonably accommodate an employee's disability or religious observance and practices.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Work Comp Reform May Be Afoot in Tennessee

by Landon Lackey, Esq.

A consultant for the state produced a set of recommendations to improve the current work comp laws.* Part of those recommendations deal with Tennessee’s unique system for adjudicating work comp claims whereby the Department of Labor has primary jurisdiction over temporary benefits, but the trial courts have primary jurisdiction over permanent benefits. This can cause some undesirable situations because if the parties don’t come to a settlement of the permanent benefits at a mandatory mediation conducted by the Department, then they get their ticket to the court system punched and it results in a literal “race to the courthouse.”

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why Mediate?

by David L. Schneider, Esq.

I have been a workers’ compensation mediator for almost fifteen years. I am certified by my State’s Supreme Court to perform civil mediations, and have been since 2003, the first year mediators became eligible for certification. Later, when an Appellate mediation program was instituted, I was certified to perform mediations before the Court of Appeals. I am currently employed by a state agency as a staff mediator and I provide free mediation to all litigants in workers’ compensation claims.

Unfortunately, despite those qualifications and experience, a settlement rate of about 90%, I simply don’t perform enough mediations. Private mediators tell me much the same thing. That is, they simply cannot find enough mediation business to sustain a practice.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Mediators and the Duty to Prepare

by Lydia Quarles, Esq.

Be prepared, be prepared, and be prepared!

Mediators are under a duty to prepare for a mediation just as they would for litigation.

The key to a successful mediation is in the preparation. Being well prepared for mediation does not mean simply calendaring the date, sending a brief and telling your client when and where. There are a number of different aspects to successful mediation preparation.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

7 Dos and Don'ts of Dealing With Unrepresented Tenants

by William Burns, Esq.

The Rule

R.P.C. 4.3. Dealing with Unrepresented Persons

In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel, a lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the unrepresented person misunderstands the lawyer’s role in the matter, the lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to correct the misunderstanding. The lawyer shall not give legal advice to the unrepresented person, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the interests of such a person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the client.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Regarding Mediation: Legal Technique or Psychology?

by Philip J. Glick

Suppose a litigation.

The parties want it and are willing to pay for it. They may win or may lose, but generally there is some emotional component that demands justice at all costs. Of course, the cost may get really high in comparison to the value of the case, but “I’ll show the other side a thing or two”.

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