Karen Hollett's Blog (13)

A Day in Court

A Day in Court

I was in court recently supporting a friend whose family member is involved in litigation over a serious civil matter. The matter has been ongoing for a long time. At the end of the trial, in a few weeks or months, the judge will have to decide what happens next in their lives. His judgment will depend upon his interpretation of the applicable law and the conclusions he draws from the evidence provided by the witnesses. Of course, ten years later it was obviously difficult… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on May 14, 2014 at 8:09am — No Comments

Mediation as a Participatory Problem-Solving Process

Mediation is a process where parties come together to solve their own disputes. The parties - with the help of a mediator - are expected to find a solution to their own problem. One of the advantages of mediation is that it keeps the control over the outcome of their dispute with the parties.



There are those who believe that mediators worry too much about process. A well structured process, however, provides an opportunity for the parties to engage: to explore, to understand, to… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on April 5, 2014 at 7:38am — No Comments

With People in Mind

As I started out on my own quest during an LLM program to better understand what is, as Marvin Gaye crooned, goin' on at mediation, I encountered a great book by Kaplan, Kaplan and Ryan, With People in Mind, The Design and Management of Everyday Nature (link provided below) This an easy to understand book about how the ways that we design and manage "everyday nature" i.e. city parks and open spaces, corporate grounds, city streets and even our own backyards, can positively enhance our human… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on March 10, 2014 at 7:47am — No Comments

ADR, Access to Justice and the RPM

I have been mulling lately on the connections between ADR & access to justice and how the RPM might helpfully inform a dialogue. Some ADR professionals may be wary of such a dialogue because the "solution" may be posed as free or cut-rate ADR processes. Resistance to such a scenario is natural. These suggestions may diminish, and perhaps feel threatening to, the ADR profession. I believe, however, that the access to justice debate can benefit, in a much broader way, from the insights of… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on February 19, 2014 at 6:14am — No Comments

Self-represented Litigants, the Crisis in Access to Justice and the RPM

Dr. Julie MacFarlane at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law recently tweeted that "It’s Official: Being an SRL Makes You Nuts". This caught my eye because I have been thinking the same thing... That is, I mean, that the self represented litigant's (SRL) world couldn't be any unhealthier from the RPM perspective.



The Reasonable Person Model (RPM, see previous posts) suggests that an environment where people are able to participate in problem solving, where they feel respected and… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on February 10, 2014 at 5:29am — No Comments

Self-represented Litigants, the Crisis in Access to Justice and the RPM

Dr. Julie MacFarlane at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law recently tweeted that "It’s Official: Being an SRL Makes You Nuts". This caught my eye because I have been thinking the same thing... That is, I mean, that the self represented litigant's (SRL) world couldn't be any unhealthier from the RPM perspective.



The Reasonable Person Model (RPM, see previous posts) suggests that an environment where people are able to participate in problem solving, where they feel respected and… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on February 10, 2014 at 5:29am — No Comments

"Reality" TV, Violence and the RPM

It's the time of year when people are thinking about resolutions and taking better care of themselves by eating better, exercising more, maintaining better work life balance and so forth. One other thing you may want to consider is what you feed your brain via the media.



We are bombarded with digital information all day long. In previous posts, I have already touched on the negative impacts of information overload in terms of our effectiveness. When our attentional capacity becomes… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on January 21, 2014 at 2:42pm — No Comments

No Environment is Neutral

Mediators are often concerned with their own neutrality and with ensuring the processes that they facilitate are 'neutral' or favour no particular side. But environmental psychologists understand that no environment can be totally neutral. People are affected by their environments.



Once one delves into the literature, there is lots of fascinating evidence of the way that human thoughts, feelings and behaviour are affected by the places and spaces that we inhabit. There is some… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on January 12, 2014 at 6:49am — No Comments

Mediating at Lakeside Mediation Center

I've been corresponding recently with Eric Galton a very successful mediator in Austin, Texas, who carries on his practice at the Lakeside Mediation Center. I first learned about this wonderful location through an article in the Texas Bar Review and was enthused to hear from Eric about his personal experiences mediating for many years in such a beautiful setting.



I have said in previous posts that it is a shame that the ADR scholarship hasn't given much serious consideration to the… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on December 27, 2013 at 6:04am — No Comments

The Expert Trap

The Expert Trap



"Now one rather annoying thing about scholars is that they are always using Big Words that some of us can't understand...



'Well,' said Owl, 'the customary procedure in such cases is as follows.'



'What does Crustimoney Proseedcake mean?' said Pooh. 'For I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.'



'It means the Thing to Do.'



'As long as it means that, I don't mind,' said Pooh humbly.



Benjamin Hoff,… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on December 17, 2013 at 6:38am — No Comments

Conflict, Sherry Turkle, and the RPM

The Reasonable Person Model (RPM, see previous posts) is a model of human nature predicated, in part, on our relationship with information and, more particularly, how our voracious human appetite for information affects our reasonableness. In a nutshell, as a species, we love information but our tendency to seek out and consume information drains our attentional capacities. The lack of our ability to direct our attention, which is difficult to self recognize at times, can be very obvious to… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on December 6, 2013 at 6:30am — No Comments

Warren Bennis, Mediators, and the RPM

Warren Bennis, academic, consultant and author on leadership, once suggested that there are two ways to be creative. He said, "One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment where singers and dancers flourish." I love that idea.



Mediators have been likened to many other roles, but I like to think of them as architects. While some are more reluctant than others to "leave the stage" - to continue the metaphor - great mediators know how to do just that. They understand that… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on November 23, 2013 at 7:53am — No Comments

Green Spaces and Aggression

Many people have experienced how a walk in the woods on a beautiful Fall day can clear our minds and make us feel good. Whenever I have a problem to solve, I find that a walk on the river trail near my home helps me think more clearly and some of my best ideas seem to arise spontaneously while I am enjoying the colours, scents and sounds of the trail.



There are studies which support the beneficial effects of nature in reducing stress levels and improving mood and cognitive… Continue

Added by Karen Hollett on November 16, 2013 at 8:41am — No Comments

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