My recent short article on Guided Choice and Guided Mediation

There has been much success with a proposed mediator having personal pre-mediation meetings Zoom meetings with each of the parties and their attorneys. The purpose of these meetings is not to engage in any position taking or engaging anything which looks like negotiations. Rather the Guiding Mediator is the one who sells the process to overcome resistance to their early hire. Parties should come away from these pre-mediation meetings with a sense of trust that the mediator seems to be someone who can be helpful. The help is not just in assisting in settlement negotiations. Rather the help includes information exchange on a collaborative basis. This could be useful whether the case settles or not. When the mediator performs these kind of services they are considered process design.

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Reviews of the AAA On Demand Program

Reviews of the AAA On Demand Program: Using Guided Choice to Increase Satisfaction with the Value of Mediators.

Available Online February 12, 2016

“In an effort to encourage the early use of mediation to resolve complex, business-to-business disputes, Paul Lurie has introduced the concept of Guided Choice.  In this video program, Paul and a panel of other distinguished mediators describe their experiences in using the principles of Guided Choice to resolve difficult cases.  The video will expand your understanding of techniques that can be used by an early-appointed mediator to shape the dispute resolution process based on confidential pre-negotiation conferences and telephone conversations with counsel and the parties. Guided Choice is not a panacea, but it can be a useful tool in the mediator’s toolbox.”

Larry Mills, Mediator, former Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution

“Guided Choice is Mediation 2.0 and Paul Lurie is its midwife. Hear Paul and well picked panelists discuss how mediation moves from “bashing and trashing” on the eve of trial to choreographed engagement of the decision-makers early enough to reduce cognitive dissonance and avert transaction costs that erect barriers to efficient deals. Stop what you are doing and listen to this punchy view of the future of dispute resolution.”

Don Philbin, Mediator, Adjunct ProfessorPepperdine University School of Law — Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

“Guided Choice offers an ideal framework for companies to maintain control over litigation while providing flexibility in developing resolution strategies.”

Jeff Krivis, Mediator, past-president of International Academy of Mediators.

“Guided Choice relies upon some of the crucial attributes of successful conflict management: foresight, patience, persistence and creativity.  This program is an effective introduction to an effective approach to resolution of complex disputes.”

Peter Phillips, Mediator and Adjunct Professor and Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution Skills Program, New York Law School

“Early resolution of disputes is the holy grail of business clients. This groundbreaking webinar clearly explains the principles of Guided Choice mediation practices, which, with the help of a skilled mediator, provide a structure that leads to quicker and more effective settlement processes.  This webinar is an essential aid for mediators and in-house counsel to understand the tools of Guided Choice and how to use them.”

Deborah Bovarnick Mastin, Mediator, Co-Chair ADR Committee, American College of Construction Lawyers, former Assistant County Attorney for Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, Florida

“Paul Lurie hits the nail on its head in this webinar with his thoughtful and practical application of Guided Choice. Proscribing early diagnosis of impediments to settlement and ongoing facilitation and mediation of the dispute even when it is in litigation or arbitration is shown to be cost effective and time saving in construction and other complex matters.”

Ruth V. Glick, Mediator, former Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution

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Obligations of lawyers to find ways to reduce cost of litigation.

Chief Justice Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court commenting in his 2015 report on the reason for the new Federal rules on ” proportionality” aimed at reducing the amount of discovery in civil cases.

“As for lawyers, Roberts said, “they have an obligation to their clients, and to the justice system, to avoid antagonistic tactics, wasteful procedural maneuvers, and teetering brinksmanship.” He added, “I cannot believe that many members of the bar went to law school because of a burning desire to spend their professional life wearing down opponents with creatively burdensome discovery requests or evading legitimate requests through dilatory tactics.”

Roberts also said that “lawyers—though representing adverse parties—have an affirmative duty to work together, and with the court, to achieve prompt and efficient resolution of disputes.”

Read more:

Paul Lurie note: A mediator can also reduce the cost and delay associated with  discovery controversies, including those expensive and time-consuming e-discovery disputes. One of those mediator strategies is help the parties  distinguish between discovery needed to try a case as compared to discovery needed to change a settlement position.

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