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Alternative dispute resolution

Alternative dispute resolution

By Professor Laurence Boulle

Dispute Resolution Mediation 


Seven and a half thoughts for busy practitioners.

1. In dispute resolution practice classical information is back in fashion.

The ancients, philosophers, novelists and primatologists (but not thought leaders) have great wisdom and insights for lawyers in their dispute resolution practices.

2. We see the world not as it is but as we are.

Perception is everything in dispute resolution and the human mind is constantly making comparisons before making decisions.

3. Managing client expectations is essential for success practice.

From the first consultation lawyers need to manage unrealistic expectations fostered by misleading information from the internet, cousins and other sources.

4. Biases in human decision-making can be predicted and managed.

It is impossible to avoid the pervasive impacts of cognitive and social biases in decision-making. Being conscious of them is the start of managing them productively.

5. Loss aversion is more powerful than gain expectations.

The gambling industry understands the impacts of the loss aversion heuristic on human behaviour. Lawyers need to reframe clients’ perceptions from loss to gains.

6. Lawyers need to know what judges are learning about the human brain.

Some judges had extensive ADR experience pre-appointment. Others are interested in relevant insights from cognitive psychology and neuro-biology - so should we..

7. Preparation can be generic to cope with predictable dispute resolution challenges.

While all files are different they are also all ‘similar’ and when individual preparation is undermined by time and information ‘generic preparation’ empowers lawyers.

7.5 To be advised.. 

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