19 07, 2019

“Approving as to Form and Content” May Mean More Than Just That!

By |2019-07-15T11:05:45-07:00July 19th, 2019|Court Cases|0 Comments

The California Supreme Court has issued an opinion holding that depending on the provisions in a settlement agreement, attorneys who approve the agreement as to form and content may also be bound by the substantive provisions of the agreement. In Monster Energy v Schechter, Case No.  S251392 (July 11, 2019), Plaintiffs Wendy Crossland and Richard [...]

13 07, 2018

Why Come To Mediation?

By |2018-06-26T14:20:04-07:00July 13th, 2018|Actual Mediations|1 Comment

It happened again.  A mediation that went nowhere fast when the defendant attended mediation “because” it was court-ordered. And… defendant offered zero in settlement. It was a property damage case. Plaintiff alleged her vehicle was side swiped while parked on the street overnight.  The automobile insurance company had an “expert” look at the damage and [...]

24 02, 2017

Will A Case Be Codified As Law?

By |2017-05-13T07:40:39-07:00February 24th, 2017|Legislature|1 Comment

In the context of a marital dissolution proceeding, is there (or should there be) an exception to mediation confidentiality (California Evidence Code section 1119) for financial disclosures “prepared for the purpose of” and used “in the course of … the mediation?” (Evidence Code section 1119). The Legislature believes so; On February 1, 2017, Senator Wieckowski [...]

11 03, 2016

“Puffing” and the California State Bar

By |2017-05-13T07:43:20-07:00March 11th, 2016|Negotiating, New Articles, Research|0 Comments

In 2006, the American Bar Association issued an ethical opinion- ABA Formal Ethics Op. 06-439 entitled A Lawyer’s Obligation of Truthfulness When Representing a Client in Negotiation: Application to Caucused Negotiation. At issue was whether an attorney has to be as truthful in a caucused mediation as she is obliged to be during a negotiation [...]

12 02, 2016

Recent Developments in Mediation Confidentiality

By |2017-05-13T07:43:33-07:00February 12th, 2016|Court Cases, Legislature, Mediation, News articles|0 Comments

Two developments occurred regarding mediation confidentiality during the first week of February. First, on Monday, February 1, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Craig Milhouse v. Travelers Commercial Insurance, Case Nos. 13-56959 and 13-57029.  Dr. and Mrs. Milhouse suffered the total loss of their home in Yorba Linda, California in [...]

16 01, 2015

An Update…. Milhouse v Travelers Commercial Insurance Company

By |2017-05-13T07:46:42-07:00January 16th, 2015|Court Cases|0 Comments

Just before Christmas, Travelers Commercial Insurance Company ("Travelers") submitted its brief in opposition  (Travelers reply 3.pdf ) to that submitted by the Southern California Mediation Association ("SCMA") as amicus curiae on the issue of mediation confidentiality. In its amicus curiae brief, SCMA queried whether the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals should recognize a "due process" exception [...]

5 12, 2014

Mediations are supposed to be confidential… but are they really?

By |2017-05-13T07:46:57-07:00December 5th, 2014|Research|Comments Off on Mediations are supposed to be confidential… but are they really?

Either as a participant in a mediation or as the mediator, we have all learned the cardinal rule that mediations are confidential both in terms of the statements and other communications made during the mediation and the information the mediator keeps to herself, not sharing it with the other parties. Many times a mediator has [...]

19 09, 2014

Should Your Next Mediator Be An Avatar?

By |2017-05-13T07:47:34-07:00September 19th, 2014|Research|Comments Off on Should Your Next Mediator Be An Avatar?

Once again, The Economist has reported on an interesting study concerning artificial intelligence and psychology. In its August 16, 2014 edition, the authors of "The Computer will see you now" discuss a study in which the participants chatted with an avatar. More specifically, Jonathan Gratch at the Institute for Creative Technologies in Los Angeles, California [...]