Creative Mediation Process for Smaller Claims and Shallow Pockets

Some lawsuits do not justify the expense of depositions, motion practice, and Lordy, not trial.  For cases in which the amount in dispute is small or an uninsured defendant does not have much money, lawyers should consider same-room sessions for… Continue Reading

Please Support Improvements to Small Claims Mediation and Trial

Small claims court is supposed to be a fair way to achieve rough justice between two parties who represent themselves.  Oregon laws have been proposed to restore that goal and improve fairness.  This post explains how the laws can help… Continue Reading

Still Time to Talk Before Suing Your Doctor? Oregon Law halts the Statute of Limitations for Some Situations.

Caller:  I think my doctor or hospital committed malpractice. Attorney:  When where you treated, and when did you first think there might be malpractice? Caller:  2014, sometime.  I think July or August. With Oregon’s two-year statute of limitations,* what’s an… Continue Reading

“Clean Language” Is Not What You Think.

Yesterday, Multnomah County Court treated its mediators to a seminar on “Clean Language.”   It was not about avoiding F-Bombs.  Hell no.  “Clean language” is a method of listening, facilitation and gathering information that seeks to minimize “interference” from the facilitator’s… Continue Reading

Oregon Court Rules Private Attorney-Client Talk is not “Mediation Communications.”

Mediation communications are confidential; we know that.  One may not use mediation communications in a later proceeding.  What if attorney gave client bad advice during mediation?  May the attorney use mediation confidentiality to torpedo client’s legal malpractice claim?  Oregon’s Supreme… Continue Reading

Oregon Patient Safety Commission Reports on Early Discussion and Resolution

Oregon’s Patient Safety Commission issued its first annual report on the Early Discussion and Resolution (EDR) of serious adverse events. This post hits the highlights. What is it, again? “Serious adverse event” is an “unanticipated consequence of patient care that… Continue Reading

Jacqueline Abel shares mediator best practices.

Jacqueline Abel is well known to Oregon’s mediation community.  Few have more experience and exposure to mediation. It was my pleasure to work with her and learn from her when she served as Mediation Coordinator for Multnomah County’s Court. Upon… Continue Reading

Half-hour Mediation Prevents Malpractice Lawsuit.

True story. Cara (not her real name) “knew” her Portland lawyer, “Paul,” had malpracticed because another lawyer had confirmed her suspicion that Paul screwed up. Cara called me to see if I would sue her lawyer and / or take… Continue Reading

Mediation Confidentiality Rules from Oregon Department of Justice

The Attorney General has developed two mediation confidentiality rules: A rule for the mediation of workplace interpersonal disputes and a rule covering most other mediations. Agencies may adopt either rule or both rules. With the passage of SB 189 (2015)… Continue Reading

Building Rapport is an Essential Skill for Successful Mediators

“The key to mediator success lies in developing rapport with the disputing parties,” concluded Professor Stephen Goldberg of the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. Professor Goldberg surveyed mediators and disputants over a number of years to determine what… Continue Reading

Book Review: Narrative Mediation: A New Approach to Conflict Resolution

  “Narrative mediation” focuses on perceptions of the parties as revealed by their stories.  If a party says, “My boss has always been out to get me!” then that is the party’s reality, regardless of any objective truth.  Such “totalizing… Continue Reading