The Global Pound Conference London – the end of the beginning

guildhall

The beautiful Guildhall in London, July 2017

On October 29, 2014, 150 of us, representing many stakeholder groups from more than 20 countries, attended an important convention held in London’s beautiful Guildhall. Called ‘Shaping the Future of International Dispute Resolution’ the convention was inspired by the energetic and far-sighted Michael Leathes and was organised by the International Mediation Institute (IMI), which he pioneered and several other bodies.

We were engaged by the individual voting and interactive technology used to extract and provide real-time data drawn from our input on a number of critical issues. The data that this convention generated suggested that significant gaps may exist between what disputants expect and need and what is currently provided by advisors, provider bodies, practitioners, educators and policy makers.

The outcome was the establishment of an international working committee with the task of planning a most ambitious venture – a series of conferences to be held across the globe known as the Global Pound Conference (GPC).

The goal of the series was to produce reliable data about how the different stakeholders saw the landscape by requiring participants to answer 4 core questions which, in summary, asked:

What do parties want, need and expect?

How is the market currently addressing these?

How can dispute resolution be improved? Overcoming obstacles and challenges.

What action should be considered and by whom?

Participants were also to be encouraged to work in groups to discuss and develop deeper responses to a series of discussion questions.

March 2016 saw the first conference, held in Singapore, and this was followed by a further 28 conferences spanning the globe and returning to the Guildhall for the London conference in July 2017.

Having had the good fortune to attend the 2014 convention and the GPC sessions in Singapore, Sydney (May 2017) and the finale in London, I have been reflecting on the experiences and the outcomes I found most significant.

Whilst the GPC has featured in this blog before (see  GPC Sydney and Roscoe Pound would be proud) it seems timely to provide a final reflection on two questions – what has the GPC series has given us and what may come next?  My list below is not exhaustive – I sense many of us are asking and answering the same 2 questions – it simply identifies what for me are the 4 most valuable take-aways:

The Global Conversation

The GPC series got us talking. We are not all saying the same thing and we continue to have significant differences in how we see things and what we want. However the dispute resolution community, and its differing components (identified in the data collection as advisors, provider bodies, practitioners, educators and policy makers) have moved out of their separate compartments and into a community of stakeholders.

The Singapore Report

The technologically advanced and real-time data collection supported the careful and thorough data analysis (undertaken by Emma-May Litchfield and Danielle Hutchinson of Resolution Resources) and an introduction to new data and concepts. See The Singapore Report. For the first time we were able to see the differences in expectation and experience between sophisticated users (with the report coining the concept of ‘dispute savvy’ users) and novices and to move from our anecdotal assumptions of the dispute resolution landscape to a picture based on reliable data. By the time we got to London 2017, panellists and participants, drawn from the largest law firms, and users drawn from major international corporations, were comfortable adopting the language of the report and describing themselves as sophisticated users.

We also had clear information that users are not a single group but a number of different groups ranging from the least to the most experienced who have very different needs and wants.

The hierarchies identified and developed for this report are a powerful tool for future analysis and have significant ongoing value.

Lessons for Lawyers

We now have cumulative data from the core questions of the 29 events. There are numerous differences from the various jurisdictions so the picture is not homogenous. However what struck me as the most significant consistency in the data comes in the answer to the question about the obstacles to overcoming deficiencies in current dispute resolution processes and practices. The overwhelmingly consistent answer was lawyers (including, surprisingly, even the responses from the group identifying as advisors.)

In London, the responses generated the following Word Cloud which provides a great visual of the message.

wordcloud

The repositioning of ADR

In Singapore, participants and panellists were talking about ADR. By the time we got to London, ‘alternative’ was gone and Dispute Resolution was the consistent descriptor. This symbolic joining of the stakeholders is a great achievement in itself.

The ‘what’s next?’ discussion

It is appropriate to talk about the London 2017 conference as the end of the beginning. The conversation did not end in London. The last session encouraged us to explore the ‘what’s next’ question and the first step seems to be reframing the GPC as the Global Pound Community. We continued our conversation as we left the conference for celebratory cocktails. There were interesting suggestions about revisiting other ideas from the presentation by Professor Frank E.A.Sander at the original 1976 Pound Conference including developing his ‘triage’ concept into a deeper investigation of what ‘guided choice’ might look like.

For all of us in the Dispute Resolution space this is a great outcome. As a participant I am extremely grateful for the experience.

Congratulations to:

  • The far-sighted Michael Leathes for having the dream;
  • The international organising committee for herding the cats internationally;
  • The principal sponsor Herbert Smith Freehills for staying the course and making such a substantial commitment;
  • Jeremy Lack, Global Coordinator, for his tenacity;
  • Powervote for its innovative technology
  • Danielle Hutchinson and Emma-May Litchfield for bringing to the dispute resolution field research methodologies which have proven so useful in the fields of education and social sciences

 

 

 

Hybrids have arrived – hosted by the beautiful city of Vienna

Hybrid processes are not new to those of us who teach and write in the ADR space. We have all heard of arb-med and med-arb. Some of us have even heard of Baseball Arbitration, Night Baseball Arbitration and Medaloa.

Step into the practitioner’s world and the view is different.

Here the processes of mediation and arbitration remain distant strangers, practised and accredited separately. Few practitioners have dual qualifications and even those who do are rarely comfortable with the concept of offering a hybrid process.

The next generation of practitioners is being given the opportunity of seeing things differently via a new student mooting program.

The starting point is the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (Vis Moot) which has just reached its 24th anniversary.

This moot tests the oral and written prowess of students in dealing with a complex international commercial conflict. This long established arbitration competition now has a sibling.

town hall vienna

View of the historic Town Hall in Vienna – site of the competition cocktail party. Photo Copyright Rosemary Howell

Established three years ago, the IBA-VIAC Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition (CDRC) commences in Vienna on July 10th at the beautiful University of Economics and Business (Wu Wien). Students participate either as negotiators or as mediators with separate scoring and evaluation for both roles.

The competition follows the Vis Moot and draws on the same case study (amended to remove all the procedural challenges of the arbitration). The competition opens with the news that the arbitration has been adjourned for a little over a week to give the parties the opportunity to see if they can resolve the conflict by mediation.

The competition gives an important signal that extends far beyond the students who are participating. The working committee drafting the problems has required consultation between arbitrators and mediators and encouraged a collaboration that is not often seen. Expert assessors too are being given experience in both the arbitration and mediation arenas.

The significant outcome is that not only is the next generation of practitioners being given the chance to consider hybrids up close, but practitioners are also joining the dots to draw together practices that once were very separate.

A great outcome.

What’s a Heat Exchanger got to do with it? – Mediation re-imagined

heat

Ground heat exchangers at One Angel Square, Manchester, England
By Rept0n1x – Daytrip to Manchester (44), CC BY-SA 2.0 – Wikimedia commons

Australian law schools have a broad range of Masters programs offering subjects in the ADR space. One of the most interesting qualities of the current Masters cohort is that it is no longer a group dominated by lawyers and would-be lawyers.

Amongst other influences, the commercial imperatives pushing higher enrolments have strengthened cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary promotion of programs. The result is that today, Masters students in our law schools now come from very diverse cultural, professional and educational backgrounds. Not only are classes culturally richer for the more diverse student profile, particularly the international cohort, but the professional backgrounds are spread over a far wider field.

This means that how and what we teach needs to be re-examined as we academics rise to the challenge of dealing well with differences.

The move from homogenous to heterogeneous has brought into the ADR postgraduate space doctors, social workers, engineers, architects, journalists, accountants and social scientists, to name a few. They all have their own language and narrative and draw on different thinking and reasoning tools.These different technical and professional approaches have brought great benefits including an appetite to challenge the legally influenced, conventional language about process and concepts. We are the richer for it.

Enter the Heat Exchanger.

Last semester I had the privilege of teaching Ahsan Ashraf (whose work I draw on with his permission) in the Mediation in Commerce program at Melbourne Law School. Ahsan is an international student currently studying in Australia and working here as a construction engineer on a major infrastructure project.

He is not a lawyer but is taking some subjects available in the law school Masters program. As we investigated the mediation matrix Ahsan worked hard to join the dots. He felt the concepts were familiar but he needed to find his own reference point for them. His thinking and reasoning tools were not linear and we all recognised that if he could find a connection, this would be useful in his engagement with mediation which is itself a flexible, non-linear process.

Turning to his own discipline he finally made a connection that spoke to him. He wrote:

‘Mediation involves a very similar process to a heat exchanger; a thermodynamic equipment used in refrigeration equipment. In a heat exchanger, a hot and a cold fluid are made to flow in tubes at a controlled rate to exchange heat.[1] The level of heat exchanged between the two fluids depends upon the surface area between them. Through this engagement, the two fluids exchange heat to minimize the difference in their temperatures.

Similarly, in mediation, the two parties undergo through a facilitated negotiation process, at a preferably slow pace, to exchange their views about a dispute.[2] The process essentially is a heat exchange where the parties express their emotions, anger and anxiety.[3] This exchange of heat minimizes the differences between the positions of the parties and opens channels of communications. The whole process remains uninfluenced and parties are only facilitated to share information in a natural manner very similar to a heat exchanger resulting in a win/win situation for both parties.’

We continued to brainstorm his ideas in class and Ahsan was challenged to translate his ideas into his own version of a mediation matrix which would communicate mediation concepts to his constituency in a way that conventional mediation materials do not. And then – to add even more power to his analogy – he did what all good engineers do.

He constructed a flow chart of his mediation heat exchanger.

I reproduce it below with his permission.

flowchartIt is a great example of the kind of creativity that is valuable for teaching, practising and thinking about mediation.

Perhaps even more importantly, it is an example of cross-disciplinary thinking in the teaching and practice of ADR processes.

Ahsan’s gift to the class (and to me).

[1] Stephen Turns, Thermodynamics: Concepts and Applications (Cambridge University Press, 2006) 492.

[2] James Alfini et al, Mediation Theory and Practice (Lexis Nexis, Second Edition, 2006) 1.

[3] Ibid 33.

Roscoe Pound would be proud – Reflections on the history of the Global Pound Conference

The Global Pound Conference (GPC) series 2016-17 is an ambitious, future-focussed project, established to create a contemporary conversation about improving the access to and quality of justice in commercial conflicts internationally.

pound

Roscoe Pound bust by Avard Fairbanks, Nebraska Hall of Fame – Creative Commons

 

When complete, the series will have included individual conference sessions involving 29 cities in 23 countries. Several blogs on this site have talked about the GPC series and how it has played out in a number of the host cities. The significant data analysis that has already emerged from the first session in the series (and has become known as The Singapore Report) has also received commentary in these pages.

The ultimate objective is the collection of data from all conference participants using a common set of 20 multiple choice questions (The Core Questions) and four sets of open text questions (The Discussion Questions) to stimulate robust discussion, research and innovation into dispute resolution

As we approach the last of the GPC series, to be held in London in July 2017, it seems timely to go back to where it all began. History informs the present and the future and, in our excitement about the significance of this ambitious project, it is important not to overlook the contribution of the memorable life of the man whose name it bears.

Roscoe Pound (1872-1964) was a remarkable man. Whilst some scholars brand him as ‘the most famous American jurisprudential thinker of the first half of the twentieth century’ and ‘the greatest twentieth century dean of the Harvard Law School’[1] his is hardly the name on every lawyer’s lips. Nor did he fit the mould of your average law school Dean.

Son of a well-known Nebraskan judge, law was not his first choice. Instead he pursued a career and doctorate in botany. Roscoepoundiana – a fungus – was named after him, ensuring his enduring botanical fame. I confess to feeling a twinge of envy!

However family pressure could not be resisted and he entered legal practice (possible in those days without a degree). Enrolling in the one year postgraduate law program at Harvard, family circumstances kept him from completing the exams but not from continuing as a practitioner.

His professional career saw him making memorable and enduring contributions wherever he went. At the Nebraska Bar he helped establish the Bar Association. He was appointed to the University of Nebraska and later became Dean of the Nebraska College of Law (1903-1907). Our students today benefit from his decision to introduce electives into the law degree.

In 1906 the American Bar Association (ABA) invited Dean Pound to deliver the keynote address at its annual meeting in St Paul, Minnesota. His speech, ‘The Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice’, shocked many in his audience. Opening with the line ‘Dissatisfaction with the administration of justice is as old as the law….’- and continuing to chronicle the law’s deficiencies, it is not surprising that his address was not well received and the backlash from the profession provoked withdrawal of the initial decision to print and distribute 4000 copies.

However not everyone was a critic. In the audience was Dean Wigmore, Dean of Northwestern University, who soon persuaded Pound to accept a professorial post at Northwestern and later commented that Pound’s speech ‘struck the spark that kindled the white flame of high endeavour now spreading through the entire legal profession and radiating the spirit of resolute progress in the administration of justice.’[2] Discovering that Pound had not graduated in law, he gave him an honorary degree.

Pound continued his distinguished career teaching and writing, finally settling into the post of Dean of the Harvard Law School (1916-1964) – to this day he remains the only Harvard Law School Dean not to have graduated from law school.

An influential and widely published academic and administrator, by the time of his death in 1964, Pound had still not received the recognition he deserved from the practising profession to which he had contributed so greatly. Whilst not being prepared to issue an apology, the ABA did make a belated acknowledgement of Pound’s contribution to the profession and to legal thinking by awarding him the ABA medal (its highest award) in 1940.

Pound’s writing remained relevant and thought-provoking and he certainly influenced legal thinking. Those he influenced included Chief Justice Warren Burger, (another judge who managed to upset conservatives) defying his sponsor, the anti-progressive Richard Nixon, by upholding the Miranda decision and supporting the majority in Roe v. Wade.

In 1976, 70 years after Pound’s keynote address, the ABA conference returned to St Paul, Minnesota. It was here, at the appropriately named Pound Conference, that the profession finally provided Pound with what amounted to the apology and acknowledgement he so richly deserved.[3]  Joining the ABA as sponsors were the Conference of Chief Justices and the Judicial Conference of the United States. Burger clearly had considerable influence over the program as he is credited with issuing the invitation to Professor Frank E.A. Sander, a notable Harvard academic, to participate. Dealing broadly with various issues of dissatisfaction with the legal system, Dispute Resolution was one stream among a number and many papers were delivered. However it is Sander’s paper’ ‘Varieties of Dispute Processing’[4] that has provided the conference’s most memorable legacy and continued the work begun by Pound in his 1906 address.

This first Pound conference laid the groundwork for the significant world-wide event we are celebrating now. The name is an important link to history and an acknowledgement of the man who inspired it all.

Roscoe Pound would be proud.

[1] See for example Northwestern University’s Professor Stephen Presser ‘Foreword’ in Roscoe Pound, The Ideal Element in Law (Online Library of Liberty, 1958).

[2]  N.T.H Hull, Roscoe Pound and Karl Llewellyn, Searching for an American jurisprudence (The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1997) 65.

[3] See ‘Perspectives on Justice in the Future’ Proceedings of the National Conference on the Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice, West Publishing Co., St. Paul Minnesota 1979

[4] Ibid at p.65

A big pair of shoes has been filled

 

Book launch

Rachael Field and Laurence Boulle celebrate the launch with Hilary Astor, Members of Resolution Institute and the ADR Research Network

 

In late May, Resolution Institute was the venue for the launch of a significant new text on Dispute Resolution – Australian Dispute Resolution – Law and Practice (LexisNexis, Sydney, 2017) authored by Resolution Institute members, Laurence Boulle and Rachael Field.

The launch was significant for academics and practitioners alike for several reasons.

The first was the acknowledgement of the pioneering work of Hilary Astor and Christine Chinkin whose original text, Dispute Resolution in Australia, was the ‘go-to’ resource for academics and practitioners alike. It was outstanding in its coverage and depth. Academics like me drew on it heavily and valued its breadth and the conversations it provoked.

This new text picks up the themes of its predecessor and updates them for todays’ dispute resolution challenges. It was a masterstroke to invite Hilary Astor to make the introductory comments and formally launch the publication. Her presence and script were great reminders of the remarkable scholarship that has been available to us since Dispute Resolution in Australia was first published in 1992.

Respecting where we have come from, as we explore future directions, is an appealing symbol of how we have developed as a dispute resolution community.

At the launch, Rachael and Laurence shared the secrets of their successful collaboration which gave us a sense of how challenging they found the responsibility of filling Astor and Chinkin’s ‘big pair of shoes’.

Laurence chose an unexpectedly poetic approach to describe to us the joys of collaborating with Rachael and I reproduce it below with his permission.

 

“Fieldsy and Bill

A DR Fairly Trail

Three score and seven months ago this Odyssey began

Intrepid Fieldsy taking charge, with vision and elan,

To turn established text into a third, more sage, edition

ADR, law, identity, much theory in addition.

Too onerous proved this arduous task for authors, young and free,

They forged a brand new first edition – with cover girt by sea.

The text prolapses ADR, and DR comes to fore,

One letter less, efficiency, the modern troubadour

DR is law’s true business, and the future task of lawyers

Though other disciplines bring great skills as DR purveyors.

 

Rachael creates matrices with fierce analysis

And practice has its rightful place – or better still praxis,

She critiques Priestly’s saintly core with missionary fervour

Though herself is, reverently, a god-fearing verger.

In every field young Fieldsy brings a rigour to the joust

Her style so mellifluous recalls the prose of Proust

Judges are too recalcitrant and theorists far too thin

She trumps them one by one with acerbic verve, and gin,

Bill looks on half-dazed as her libretto forms apace

Just minor emendations to claim his cover place

 

Disputes twixt Bill and Fieldsy? There were a somewhat few

The comma matter not resolved, it caused a constant blue.

For Rachael, every, word, must, have, its, punctuation, own,

ForBillajumbledflowofwordsnosyncopationzone

 

Now here’s a tale not told before, though every word is true,

Bill inveigled Fieldsy long to move to Bond uni

Abandon Brisbane’s creek and drudge and start again anew

Resistance was her sad retort, excuses thickly grew.

The strangest part: once Bill departs for Sydney waters twee

Then Rachael moves to Bondy’s place with stark alacrity

In truth she’s now resolved to move to Sydney Harbour Bridge

Once Bill has used his GPS to reclaim Bogun ridge.

 

One note of serious concern amidst the frippery

Concerning current happenings with lack of policy

How serious is the plight of those who flee from ravaged lands

Out-trumped by bigotry and fear, excuses weak and bland,

Asylum-seekers, refugees, minorities galore,

The flames are fanned by news corp hacks, the jocks and many more

Where is DR’s noble soul in contexts such as these?

That is a challenge we must face, so join a movement please.

To take on privilege and power, denial atmospheric,

Post-truth, untruth, and spin and sin, every sad heuristic.

 

But to end on sombre tones might seem a trifle crook

For cheerful lives and value add – you just should buy the book.

Thanks are due to Jocelyn Holmes and to Lexis Nex,

At RI Ellie, Brian and more provided superb flex

Hildegard of Bingham was a prophet most acute

Hilary of Astoralia from whom DR took root

Has graced us with her words and we extend our thanks

For legacy contributions and setting the early pace

 

I now must end abruptly too these rhymes sore terrible

Lest there be those who shout aloud ‘Enough, far too much bull.’

 

Congratulations Rachael and Laurence. I look forward to where this text will take our teaching and learning.

Collaboration in Krakow

krackow

Krakow: Picture courtesy UIA

The World Forum of Mediation Centres was created in 2001 by the Mediation and Conflict Prevention Council of the Union Internationale des Avocats.

It brings together commercial mediation practitioners and representatives of ADR Centres from around the world (including the Law Society of New South Wales) via an active program of collaboration with its constituents.

With my Australian colleagues, I was delighted to receive an invitation to present various sessions over the two days of the 23rd Forum, which has just concluded in Krakow, Poland.

Jagiellonian University, located in the beautiful city of Krakow, was the perfect setting for the forum. The picturesque setting, with blankets of snow covering the landscape, made the sub-zero temperatures bearable!

My fellow pracademics, Emma-May Litchfield and Danielle Hutchinson, joined me in delivering an interactive session on The Power of the Narrative in Mediation. Our session reviewed the significant research into narrative structure and power found in such diverse fields as education, semiotics, neuroscience and economics and reflected on the limited contribution in the field of ADR.

Using a case study drawn from real life, participants investigated and debated what steps they would take as mediators to identify the narratives which had led the parties to a seemingly impossible impasse; then to consider how the parties could be encouraged to develop new narratives which might meet their interests and create opportunities for resolution.

Emma-May and Danielle then drew links between the case study and findings from The Singapore Report, the analysis of the inaugural Global Pound Conference (GPC) event last March. They explained the different narratives of inexperienced and ‘dispute-savvy’ disputants and the tools the GPC research offers to mediators as they build repertoire.

Alan Limbury, our other Australian representative, was his usual provocative self in his session on Arb-Med-Arb with the same neutral. Other panellists explained hybrid processes generally and what their future role might be. Furious debate, laced with scepticism and concerns about ethics and procedural fairness, kept us entertained and engaged. The jury is still out and we may need a mediator to sort out the panellists’ differences!

There were many other important topics including the benefits of teaching Greek healthcare practitioners how to apologise effectively for medical errors; what the future looks like for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR); and in-house programs to reduce staff conflict.

The Forum is a great opportunity to share international developments and initiatives and to collaborate with colleagues whose professional practices vary widely.

The social calendar was challenging too and included a tour of the famous Krakow salt mine, an UNESCO World Heritage site. Descending more than 300 steps to dine 110 metres below ground was a chilly but unforgettable experience.

The program and most of the papers are available at www.uianet.org along with news of the next forum in Singapore in October 2017.

Learning from our Italian colleagues – and a ‘Room with a View’

A holiday in Italy is always a wonderful experience, especially when it includes the beautiful city of Florence. My recent Italian holiday was made even more pleasurable by the opportunity to visit with the Chiara Tondini and Nadia Sportolaro, the Managing Team of The Florence International Mediation Chamber (FIMC).

A branch of the Florence Chamber of Commerce, FIMC was established in 2015 with the goal of offering an international mediation service to Italian companies involved in international commercial relationships and to foreign companies who very wisely choose to resolve their disputes in Florence.

FIMC has a lot to offer its commercial clients. It has a growing panel of experienced mediators from around the world (including Australia) accredited to rigorous international standards and a mediation room with a marvellous view over the city – a drawcard in itself!

FIMC is continuing to build its profile and will host the Florence session of the Global Pound Conference series, an international program involving over 36 events in more than 26 countries and which has been featured in several of these blog posts.

FIMC is active internationally – for example, it is working with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to secure the right to become the Italian host for its arbitrations and mediations. It is also an official observer of the UNCITRAL Working Group II which is investigating developing an enforceability vehicle for international mediated settlement agreements along the lines of the New York Convention which applies in the arbitration environment.

The Chamber of Commerce of Florence (CCF) of which FIMC is a branch, was founded in 1770 – via a statute enacted by Grand-Duke Pietro Leopoldo of Tuscany.  Since 1998 it has been handling domestic mediation services and 6,000 cases later it has an enviable track record.

The CCF domestic mediation service operates under Legislative Decree no. 28/2010, the single legislative instrument controlling both mandatory and voluntary mediation in Italy. It ensures that parties cannot litigate most (but not all) matters without a trial of mediation.

With typical Italian creativity, the constitutional challenge to 28/2010, spearheaded by the legal profession (which succeeded on a technicality) has been overcome by an amendment which has proved wise and durable – parties are still required to attend the commencement of a mediation prior to issuing legal proceedings, however they are given the opportunity to opt out of the process before the formal mediation commences.  Once the parties agree to commence a mediation and settle the dispute, the operation of the Legislative Decree creates an immediately enforceable agreement – this provision extends to both mandatory and voluntary mediation.

The operation of this regime has been surprising successful – an interesting lesson for us in Australia. The chart below, provided by FIMC, provides insight into the success of the process.  

TOTAL MANDATORY MEDIATIONS VOLUNTARY MEDIATIONS
Procedures handled (and closed) from 1st January 2014 to 30th September 2016 1.154(100%) 742 (100%) 403 (100%)
% of cases where invited party accepted invitation to the first meeting 625 (54,16%) 505 (69,75%) 160 (39,70%)
%of cases in which parties accepted to start the mediation after the first meeting (opt-out mechanism) (based on # of cases in which invited party accepted invitation to the first meeting) 314 (50,24%) 203(40,20%) 108 (67,50%)
Settlement rate in % (based on # of cases in which parties accepted to start the mediation after the first meeting (opt-out mechanism) 190 (60,51%) 120 (59,11%) 66 (61,11%)
Number of cases in  % settled after having filed the mediation request but before that the mediation meeting took place(based on # of total cases filed) 61(5,29%) 25 (3,37%) 17 (4,22%)

As Chiara and Nadia explain, requiring all parties to come to the mediation table, even in a preliminary way, provides the opportunity for parties, who might otherwise not be willing to initiate a mediation, to consider what mediation has to offer and choose to stay. The process is also efficient, low cost and not punitive for those parties who do opt out – removing the argument lawyers often use here about the unnecessary expense imposed by a mandatory regime.

As the chart demonstrates, more than 50% of parties who attend the introductory session choose to stay and of those matters, more than 60% settle.

Yet another reason to visit Florence![1]

 

 

 

[1] Discover more at: www.fimcmediation.com