Colin Rule's blog

Technology and Divorce Mediation

I met with my good friend John Ford last week for lunch, and he introduced me to his business partner David Stein. The two of them have set up a new dispute resolution service provider focused on family disputes: Liaise Divorce Solutions. It's been almost a decade since the US figured out that the courts are a horrible way to resolve divorce cases, and that dispute resolution is a much better fit -- but now technology is coming in to change the equation even further. I was impressed with some of the foresight John and David showed in thinking about where all this is going. Read more about Technology and Divorce Mediation

The 2011 ODR Working Group Meeting - Chennai, India February 7-9

Chennai, India will serve as the host city for the 10th Annual International Forum on Online Dispute Resolution February 7-9, 2011.

This conference will bring together the world's leading practitioners, academics, theorists, and online negotiation application developers, to share information, and to create a vehicle for ODR education. Read more about The 2011 ODR Working Group Meeting - Chennai, India February 7-9

Building a Global ODR System for Consumer Disputes

The ODR and Consumers 2010 Forum was held in Vancouver on November 2 and 3, 2010. The Forum (ODRAC) was convened in response to recent proposals advanced by delegations to the United Nations (UNCITRAL) and the Organization of American States. These proposals have begun to outline model rules for a global resolution system to handle cross-border, low value disputes. This work is perfectly in line with ongoing initiatives in the European Union (e.g. Read more about Building a Global ODR System for Consumer Disputes

Not a mythological character

Tina Dupuy: "The fact is: Obama is a good president. He’s a centrist who is somewhere between what mouth-foamers on either extreme say about him. He does listen to all viewpoints, which makes people of some viewpoints – ironically – dislike him. He’s not the villain the insane Right says he is, nor is he the do-nothing turncoat the insane Left says he is... America voted for and got a president – not a mythological character." Read more about Not a mythological character

A nation of know-nothings

Tim Egan on the NYT website: "It would be nice to dismiss the stupid things that Americans believe as harmless, the price of having such a large, messy democracy... At its worst extreme, a culture of misinformation can produce something like Iran, which is run by a Holocaust denier. It’s one thing to forget the past, with predictable consequences, as the favorite aphorism goes. But what about those who refuse to comprehend the present?" Read more about A nation of know-nothings


Jan Hoffman in the NYT today:

"The seventh-grade guidance counselor says she can spend up to three-fourths of her time mediating conflicts that began online or through text messages.

In April, the burden of resolving these disputes had become so onerous that the principal, Mr. Orsini, sent an exasperated e-mail message to parents that made national news: 'There is absolutely NO reason for any middle school student to be part of a social networking site,' he wrote. If children were attacked through sites or texting, he added, 'IMMEDIATELY GO TO THE POLICE!'"

"Administrators who investigate students tangled in online disputes often resort to a deft juggle of artfulness, technology and law."

"He rubbed his face in his hands. 'All we are doing is reacting,' he said. 'We can’t seem to get ahead of the curve.'"

This is the new generation gap: adults are unable to wrap their brains around the new technology, and that opens up vulnerabilities for kids.

The answer is for parents and teachers to get more engaged and more involved, and to be as present in their kids' lives online as they are offline. Read more about cyberbullying

They've got to want it

Friedman in the NYT today: "Why do we have to recruit and train our allies, the Afghan Army, to fight? That is like someone coming to you with a plan to recruit and train Brazilian boys to play soccer.

If there is one thing Afghan males should not need to be trained to do, it’s to engage in warfare. That may be the only thing they all know how to do after 30 years of civil war and centuries of resisting foreign powers. After all, who is training the Taliban? They’ve been fighting the U.S. Army to a draw — and many of their commanders can’t even read.

It is not about the way. It is about the will. I have said this before, and I will say it again: The Middle East only puts a smile on your face when it starts with them..." Read more about They've got to want it

Abusive Customers

Jamie Smarr on the NYT City Room blog:

"Let’s face it, folks. The customer is not always right. In fact, some are just plain old abusive, cheap and crass. I say this not as a salesman but as a dyed-in-the-wool middle-class consumer.

I’m waiting in line at a fast-food restaurant while a coupon fight goes on in front of me, delaying me from my sweet, sweet weekly communion with a Southern Style Chicken Biscuit. No, the coupon does not say that you are entitled to a free iced latte. You show it to me as if I’m your lawyer, and it states plainly, “A free cup of coffee.” And, no, they are not the same thing. Read more about Abusive Customers

Dispute Resolution iPhone App

Mike Sherry in the Kansas City Business Journal, "In a marital spat? There’s an app for that..."

"In a knock-down-drag-out fight with your significant other, you might be inclined to hurl a smartphone at your tormentor.

But Brookside psychotherapist Mark McGonigle hopes couples instead use their smartphones to de-escalate the feud with his new iPhone app.

“Fix a Fight,” available for $9.99 through the Apple iTunes store, guides users through an eight-step fence-mending process.

No waiting to see a therapist. No counseling bills to pay.

Just load it up, and away you go — complete with audio files of advice from McGonigle. Read more about Dispute Resolution iPhone App


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