Conflict Resolution

Advanced Problem-Solving Strategies

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This video has been making the rounds for awhile, so I’m sure a lot of readers have already seen it. It’s from a British game show that ends with a variant of the prisoner’s dilemma problem that a lot of us study in mediation programs. Nick has evidently figured out that he can never be sure he will be able to persuade Ibriham that he will be fair. And even if he could, that might only encourage Ibriham to take advantage. So Nick adopts the novel strategy of trying to persuade Ibriham that Nick will make the selfish move, in order to force Ibriham to make the only play that can possibly benefit both of them. Then Nick can be […]

Lawsuits present two competing versions of events, or at least two different interpretations of the same events. In most cases, that just means that the two sides remember those events differently, or interpret their significance differently. Some lawsuits, however, give the fact-finder no alternative but to find that one side is lying and the other side is telling the truth. I mediated a couple of cases in the latter category recently. One involved a claim of forgery. Another involved a claim that a car accident had been staged to defraud the insurance carrier. These cases made me think about the different methods we use to determine which side is telling the truth in litigation, and in mediation. Trials contain a […]