Monday, June 23

The Complex Case Class of '08

Here's the great bunch of folks I spent last week with in the mediating the complex case course at Pepperdine.

That's Bruce Edwards on the left and from whom we all learnt so much - Bruce is the real deal in high stakes mediation - as well as being heavily involved in the governance of JAMS, he puts in table-time all over the US, mostly splitting himself between the tables of Las Vegas (that's mediation tables - Bruce's family only lets him mediate in Sin City if he leaves with more money than he arrives with) and the highly polished boardroom tables of his hometown San Francisco.

Nowhere else that I know of can you get the type of insight into the specialist world of mediating complex cases (and for 'complex' read multi 15+ lawyered up parties; with insurance coverage issues; $ in the millions; and a line of experts and lawyers stretching the entire length of The Strip).

More on course content later, as right now I would like to honor course participants for their most gracious welcome of this Kiwi.

From left, after Bruce, there is;

Manuel Gomez of Assistant Prof at Florida International University - it's a small world when you discover a mutual interest in breeding earth worms for recycling purposes (don't ask, as this blog is relentlessly on-topic).

Don Philbin of San Antonio - take a look at this superb article Don authored called The Psychology of Bad Economic Decisions and published in last fall's JAMS newsletter. I'm going to be show-casing more of Don's work in coming posts, especially his article The One Minute Manager Prepares for Mediation: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Negotiation Preparation published in Harvard Negotiation Law Review soon.

The back row gang of Beth Greenfield-Mandler, Joe Unger and Bill Roland, all vastly experienced circuit mediators for the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Miami mediating exclusively appellate cases in the federal system - a very challenging environment to do this work in. Joe showed us a mediator opening to die for.

Harvey Goldhammer of Glendale, CA who so generously shared his longtime experience of the insurance world.

Rebecca Callahan of Newport Beach who has the grooviest website out there.

Jim Ruh, a wise Colorado attorney mediator and trustee of the Colorado Ballet.

Marion Uitslag of The Netherlands and who gave us all a copy of her wonderful book The Ins and Outs of Mediation (complete copy online here).

IP attorney mediator Craig Metcalf of Salt Lake City who is expanding his neutral practice as we speak

Attorney, test pilot, engineer, and naval officer Dave Hunter who was second only to Bruce Edwards in his understanding of the murky world of insurance litigation.

Beverly Hills mediator Paul Locker whose background in IP, entertainment and licensing law means he has rubbed shoulders with the best of Hollywood talent over the years.


michael webster said...


Don's article about the psychology of bad decision making fails to make the important point for negotiation: where there are differences, there is room for trade-offs and deals.

The other problem with the article is that refers mostly to experiments in what is known as decision theory, as opposed to game theory.

Most negotiations have a strategic interaction, which game theory purports to model.

You really want the equivalent article for game theory to be written.

Anonymous said...

They look like a troublesome bunch :-) (best sort)