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Nov 18, 2021

In mediation, night time can be the right time 

  Ask any mediator and they’ll tell you that being the third wheel in a party of (at least) two is not always easy. It’s their job to get the party started and keep the party going, even when the ones they showed up with might be tired of dancing.  On occasion, that means dancing […]

Dec 11, 2020

The many ways to satisfy signature rule for mediated settlements

BY DAN GIBSON On Nov. 3, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an important decision affecting mediated settlements, Mitchell v. Boswell. The court held N.C.G.S. § 7A-38.1(l)’s provision saying a mediated settlement agreement is unenforceable “unless it has been reduced to writing and signed by the parties against whom enforcement is sought” requires the […]

Jan 16, 2019

Mediators in the culture of litigation

  More than 10 years have passed since legal scholar and researcher Randall Kiser and his colleagues published their famous study documenting how often, and at what cost, attorneys obtain a result worse than what could have been achieved by accepting their opponents’ pre-trial settlement proposal. (“Let’s Not Make A Deal: An Empirical Study of […]

Jun 3, 2017

What every lawyer should know about mediation

When grown-ups tell an especially precocious child that he or she “ought to be a lawyer when you grow up,” it is not always meant as a compliment. Often the suggestion is really a euphemistic complaint that the child is being unreasonably argumentative and combative—though some of the children in question have been known to […]

May 24, 2016

Myths of mediation

A myth, according to my well-worn companion Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, is “an unfounded and false notion.” The thicket of rules and statutory provisions governing mediated settlement conferences in North Carolina Superior Court cases has given rise to a few dangerous myths that can trip up counsel and parties who don’t deal with mediations […]

Feb 3, 2016

Master’s project inspires lawyers to volunteer

Like too many courts throughout the state and country, Wake County District Court has an overloaded docket and a shortage of judges and support staff – common problems that are rooted in tight budgets. But something noteworthy has happened here. Local family law attorneys have banded together and are sacrificing valuable time away from their […]

Dec 10, 2015

Six strategies for effective mediation advocacy training

As mediators, attorneys and educators, we understand the importance of preparing litigators to engage in mediation advocacy effectively. We also understand the realities of law firm practice and the scarcity of time attorneys have to devote to professional development. However, we believe that mediation advocacy — which rarely is taught in law school — should […]

Nov 17, 2015

The 12 steps of mediation

Hello, my name is Shon, and I am a recovering courtroom addict. I used to believe that all family law matters should be tried for their sins and litigated to the end of time. For the first 15 years of practicing law, I saw mediation as interference to seeking justice. It was my perspective that […]

Jun 2, 2015

Contract — Mediated Settlement Agreement – Binding & Enforceable – Corporate – Signatories’ Capacities

DeCristoforo v. Givens (Lawyers Weekly No. 15-15-0538, 25 pp.) (James Gale, C.J.) 2015 NCBC 53 Holding: Although the parties expected to execute a “further statement of their agreement and complete mutual release,” the mediated settlement agreement they signed is nonetheless binding and enforceable. The court grants plaintiffs’ motion to enforce the agreement. Individual defendants Seamons [[...]

Mar 27, 2014

Sons settle dispute over father’s will for $190 K

Two sons who were excluded from their father’s will have reached a settlement with the father’s estate for $190,000, the sons’ attorneys report. Mitchell D’Or died in June 2012 at the age of 58. A new will he had executed in May 2011 had specifically excluded his adult sons and left his entire estate to […]

Apr 1, 2011

Mediation program eases prisoners’ reentry into society

By DIANA SMITH, Staff Writer [email protected]   Ann Shy says she would be bored to tears in a mediated settlement conference. Move that mediation to a prison setting, however, and the Carrboro lawyer is ready to play ball. And thanks to a new initiative she’s spearheading through the Elna B. Spaulding Conflict Resolution Center in […]

Sep 23, 2010

Man regains control of $10M in trust assets in mediation

    John Doe, a 79-year-old successful businessman, and his wife Jane Doe executed a series of trusts in 2009 including John’s revocable living trust. The terms of John’s living trust allowed him to control the distribution of all income and principal from the trust during his lifetime. John and his daughter, Mary Doe, served […]

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