The Guided Choice Mediation Interest Group

We are a group of dispute resolution neutrals, business lawyers, litigators, academics, and in-house lawyers who believe that the potential of mediation and arbitration to provider prompt, inexpensive and fair resolution of commercial disputes is not being fully realized under current practice. We believe that more customization of mediation and arbitration is required using the best practices in which we believe. While many of us have experience in the construction industry, these concepts are applicable to all commercial disputes. We intend to form of community of people who will keep each other informed about innovative ways that commercial disputes are being resolved quickly, fairly and to the satisfaction of the business community. We are a pro bono unincorporated organization with no formal relationship between the members.

Paul M. Lurie, Director, Guided Choice Mediation Interest Group,, Mediator and Arbitrator, Chicago, IL

Adrian L. Bastianelli, III. Past Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on the Construction Industry and past President of the Washington Building Congress. Partner, Peckar & Abramson P.C.

John G. Bickerman, Mediator, Washington, D.C  Past Chair, Section of Dispute Resolution, ABA. Adjunct Professor, Cornell University School of Labor and Industrial Relations

“I think mediation is taking a shellacking in the last few years because users don’t understand the value it provides, if done properly.  I feel like I’ve been to this rodeo before — like in the 1980’s and 90/s.  It seems like it’s a never ending process of re-education.”

Kathy Bryan, Former President and CEO, CPR:International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, New York, NY

Dr. Patricia D.Galloway, President & CEO, Pegasus Global Holdings, Inc. Cle Elum Washington, Former Chair, AAA National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee, Arbitrator and Mediator

Jim Groton, Mediator and Arbitrator, Atlanta GA., Former President American College of Construction Lawyers

“It’s about time that someone came up with a second-generation proactive mediation process, after at least three decades of bumbling along with unguided mediations.”

Jeremy Lack, Mediator & Arbitrator, Geneva, Switzerland

Michael J. Leech, Mediator & Arbitrator, Chicago, IL President, Association of Attorney Mediators.

“I am an employment & commercial mediator who practiced in both areas for 33 years and think this is the logical next step in dispute resolution. Only a neutral can help people identify when the time and circumstances are right for dispute resolution and fashion the process that the parties best calculated to help the parties bring the dispute to resolution.”

Larry R. Leiby, Mediator & Arbitrator, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Teaches construction law at Florida International University College of Law; 

“The Guided Choice principles have proven to be effective in my pratice.”

Deborah Masucci, educator, corporate user, ADR provider, and administrator; former Chair of the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section

Michael McIlrath, Global Chief Litigation Counsel for the GE Oil & Gas division in Florence, Italy.

Donald R. Philbin, Jr., San Antonio. TX.  Mediator and Adjunct Law Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law

“Guided Choice is Mediation 2.0. It systematizes the move from “bashing and trashing” on the eve of trial to choreographed engagement of decision-makers early enough to reduce cognitive dissonance and avert transaction costs that erect barriers to efficient deals.”

Stanley P. Sklar, Mediator & Arbitrator Chicago, IL Past President, College of Commercial Arbitrators

“How many times have we heard that sad refrain – the dispute did not settle! Where do we go from here? At last, Guided Choice provides the parties and their legal counsel a framework for the next stage of dispute resolution.”

Thomas J. Stipanowich, William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution, Professor of Law and Academic Director, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, CA.

Holt Gwyn, Mediator, Arbitrator,  President-Elect, American College of Construction Lawyers, Greensboro, NC.

“I encourage decision makers and counsel to thoughtfully consider the steps Paul describes in dealing with their next dispute.”

Carlos Alvarez, Mediator, Tallahassee, Florida

“I have been advocating this concept for the last 10 years. Process is the key element to reaching a negotiated settlement. A cookie cutter mediation approach to mediation is simply wrong. There are so many variables to every dispute and developing a process for the facts, circumstances and law of a case is crucial. I do many environmental and land use mediations and I am a member of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution . The U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution makes process design the central element and the first step of resolving environmental disputes. We should too.”

Peter C. Halls, Partner, Faegre, Baker Daniels LLP, Minneapolis, MN

“Thank you for your fine article on Guided Choice.  Many great common sense suggestions that would not necessarily occur to anyone locked into traditional approaches.”.

A. Bruce Schimberg, Mediator and Arbitrator, Chicago, IL

“Your AAA webinar on June 10, 2014  was outstanding.  It was the first serious effort known to me to provide an understanding and basis to enable mediators to be helpful, in a significant way, to parties relying on highly competent counsel in complex controversies.  The Guided Choice concept and related practice should become a very productive approach for mediators in large complex commercial cases and similar controversies in other areas “.

Laura A. Kaster, Mediator & Arbitrator, Princeton, NJ (Former head of litigation AT&T)

“By selecting a Guided Choice mediator who is focused on achieving a settlement as early as possible at the lowest possible cost, advocates align themselves with the client and demonstrate the kind of forward thinking corporate clients appreciate.”

Edna Sussman,  Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, Fordham Law School

“Great initiative- I think it is a wonderful contribution to the field.”

Gary McGowan, Mediator & Arbitrator, Houston Texas

“Your innovative Guided Choice approach could have helped me many times over the years in my mediation practice, and we’ve all dealt with an arbitration clause that was a square peg in a round hole. Good work. If I can be of assistance, let me know.”

Willilam A. Quinby, Mediator, Wulff, Quinby Sochynsky, Oakland, CA

Tony Lehman, Partner in Construction Litigation, Hudson Parrott Walker, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia”

“As an advocate for my client, I work to get my client the best results. Getting a neutral involved early almost always helps achieve that goal.”

David J. Abeshouse, Business Mediator, Arbitrator, Dispute Resolution Lawyer, New York, NY

“The most satisfied users of my mediation services are those who have the foresight and fortitude to hire me before they start running up bills engaging in discovery and motion practice, in preparation for a trial that rarely occurs.”