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CREATING A WINNING MEDIATION STATEMENT

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” The author of this statement is unknown. Some ascribe it to Oscar Wilde, others to Will Rogers. The only confirmed source dates back to 1966 and a men’s suit maker. Regardless, the statement is powerful and true. When it comes to commercial mediations, the first impression is made with the Mediation Statement. A well-drafted...
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MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT STREAMLINES PROCESS FOR PARTIES WORKING COLLABORATIVELY IN FAMILY LAW CASES By Lisa Taylor

For many years, the Supreme Court has been encouraging alternate dispute resolution for domestic relations cases, beginning with adoption of the mediation court rules 15 years ago, MCR 3.216, and continuing with its support of the recent adoption of the Uniform Collaborative Law Act, MCL 691.1331 et. seq., effective December 8, 2014, the Consent Judgment Rule, MCR 3.210(2), effective January 1,...
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Michigan Court of Appeals Affirms Enforcement of Mediated Settlement Agreement in Custody Case – by Lee Hornberger

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently increased the flexibility of what parents can agree upon in mediation. Rettig v Rettig, 322 Mich App 750; 912 NW2d 877 (2018). Rettigis the most recent Michigan Court of Appeals published decision concerning the enforceability of a mediation settlement agreement since Vittiglio v Vittiglio, 297 Mich App 391; 824 NW2d 591 (2012), lv dn 493 Mich 936; 825 NW2d...
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Summary Jury Trials Another form of ADR – by William D. Gilbride Jr.

A summary jury trial is a one-day jury trial that combines the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of arbitration with the structure of a conventional trial. The process is simple: the parties select a petit jury and try the case in court before the petit jury on a limited basis. The summary trial is completed in one day with a limit on the number of live witnesses and allows for the...
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Mediators can effectively flip the script – by Earlene Baggett-Hayes

When parties reach what may appear to be an impasse in mediation, mediators often employ various reality testing techniques. They may ask questions such as, “What do you think will happen if…?” or “How do you think the other side will respond if…?” Another technique is for the mediator to suggest each party step into the shoes of the other side. Frequently, however, parties continue...
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