This post summarizes the discussion in a program entitled “Ready, Set, Mediate!” at the recent Court ADR Symposium.  The program about helping parties prepare for mediation sessions was part of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s annual conference.  This post includes the audience’s experiences of problems due to inadequate preparation for mediation sessions and a list of materials they use or would like to use.  The last part of this post provides helpful resources to help people be as ready as possible when their mediation sessions begin.

The program featured presentations by Rebecca Price, Margaret Huang, and me.  I described
Continue Reading Ready, Set, Mediate!

Less than 24 hours after the Arizona Supreme Court was told that the Legislature wants the 1864 abortion ban in place for the next several months, Planned Parenthood told the Justices today that that is practically and legally “absurd”.

The back and forth comes as the Justices are considering requests to delay allowing the Court’s opinion to go into effect in the next 90 days. On Tuesday, counsel for Yavapai County Attorney Dennis McGrane and Dr. Eric Hazelrigg suggested (below) that the Legislature purposely did not repeal the 1864 ban with an emergency clause because they wanted the ban in
Continue Reading 1864 abortion ban repeal … what repeal?

We all have values we live and work by whether or not we actually spend the time to think about it. Stopping to consider the behaviors needed to meet your values is an important exercise because values are abstract concepts such as quality, timeliness, or integrity. On the other hand, behaviors are concrete actions we each take or don’t take.

I saw one definition of values as “a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.” Whatever values you have require certain behaviors to meet your values. The flipside is that there are many
Continue Reading Living your values

When I say study minimalism, I’m referring to the value in adopting a lifestyle philosophy that encourages you to declutter your life and focus on quality over quantity. By embracing minimalism, you eliminate the excess and prioritize what truly adds value. This approach extends beyond physical possessions to encompass time, relationships, and even professional pursuits. The point is that by simplifying and streamlining, you can make more room for the things that truly matter to you.

In the pursuit of a minimalist lifestyle, one key aspect is decluttering physical spaces. This involves letting go of unnecessary possessions, freeing up space
Continue Reading Study minimalism: Make more room for good things in your life

Part 1 – What Data is (maybe?) Covered and Who Must Comply with the New Jersey Data Privacy Act?

This week we take a quick look at the newest state effort to tackle data privacy. New Jersey entered the data privacy playing field last week with Governor Murphy putting pen to paper on a new comprehensive Data Privacy Act. 332_R6 significantly strengthens New Jersey’s consumer protection and privacy laws, placing enforcement in the hands of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”) and the Attorney General’s Office. While it shares some similarities with other recently enacted state privacy laws,
Continue Reading New Jersey’s new data privacy act and its impact on health care orgs

On January 1, 2021, the United States Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). As part of the NDAA, several subsidiary anti-money laundering laws were passed. On January 1, 2024, one such law took effect. This law is the Corporate Transparency Act. This new law requires businesses created or registered to do business in the United States to report beneficial ownership information to federal authorities. However, there are exemptions to the reporting requirements, and the information required may differ depending on the company’s creation date. Therefore, many business owners are not sure whether they are required to report or,
Continue Reading Understanding the Corporate Transparency Act’s business impacts

The major Arizona law firm of Jennings Strouss & Salmon was placed into a receivership on August 22 and announced that its (few remaining) doors will close Thursday, August 31.

Judge Christopher Coury signed the receivership order August 22, after it was agreed to by the firm, PNC Bank and the landlord (Red Cityscape). The receiver will be Jeremiah Foster at Resolute Commercial Services.

In this sort of situation (where the company is closing its doors), a receivership is much like a bankruptcy with a trustee in place. The Receiver will be responsible for collecting the monies owed by JSS’s
Continue Reading Major Arizona law firm placed into receivership, closing doors

“Today is the youngest you’ll ever be, so live like it” encapsulates a powerful reminder to embrace the present moment and make the most of your life. In a world that often encourages you to plan for the future or dwell on the past, this statement encourages a shift in perspective towards living in the now. Each passing day brings you closer to the future, and as time moves forward, your opportunities and experiences continue to evolve. This notion urges you to seize the day, take chances, and cultivate a mindset of enthusiasm and vigor.

Living in the present doesn’t
Continue Reading Today is the youngest you’ll ever be – live like it

I bet you didn’t know that you need to train your mediator bot.

This didn’t occur to me until I read this Washington Post article about biases in artificial intelligence (AI) apps.

The article includes eight (!) references to bot training.

In my post, Avatar Mediation, I speculated about a future market for mediation bots.  Mediation is supposed to be unbiased.  So we need to train our bots well.

The first part of this post discusses the nature and causes of bot biases.

The second part analyzes the significance of the editor’s framing of the story in its headline,
Continue Reading Training your mediator bot

Links serve an important purpose in connecting online content to other relevant sources and information. They are also an important element in search engine optimization (SEO). The quality of links to and from your law firm website can boost your online presence and search rankings or damage your website’s credibility and SEO. Unfortunately, law firm website link schemes could be in place—creating affiliations between your website and others—without your law firm or website manager’s knowledge.

This blog is the second in a two-part series that explains what link schemes are, the risks of link schemes for lawyers, how
Continue Reading Law firm website link schemes: IDing and handling harmful links

There is a common misconception that estate planning is only necessary for people who are married or have children. However, if you have any assets and pass away without a Last Will and Testament or a trust, your possessions, including your hard-earned savings, will be distributed according to the State of Arizona’s intestacy laws. That is why, even if you are single without any children, you may want to consider discussing your situation with an experienced estate planning lawyer at Harrison Law, PLLC, by calling (480) 320-2310. Our knowledgeable legal professionals can provide guidance on the basics of estate
Continue Reading Estate planning for a single person

Happiness is a deeply fulfilling and enriching emotion that can be attained through various means, but one of the most profound sources of happiness is found in giving of yourself. When you extend your kindness, generosity, and support to others, you experience a sense of purpose, connection, and joy that is unparalleled.

Giving of yourself fosters meaningful connections and builds stronger relationships. When you selflessly give your time, attention, and resources to others, you establish bonds based on trust, empathy, and mutual support. These connections bring a sense of belonging and fulfillment, as you witness the positive impact you can
Continue Reading Happiness comes from giving of yourself

Justice Kagan’s opinions are such targetrich environments for good techniques that I keep coming back. A few more I noticed in the past couple of weeks:

18. Change the grammatical structure mid-stream.

Rhetoriticians call this technique “anacolouthon” (from the Greek meaning “it does not follow”), in which the author/speaker interrupts herself and changes the grammatical structure of a sentence part way through. It is useful to emphasize something through an aside or exclamation:

“And if all that leaves the tiniest doubt—well, still we are not done.” Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. v. Hewitt, 598 U.S. 39, 55 n.
Continue Reading Writing like Justice Kagan, Part IV

Historically, Arizona has been unique in that it did not allow people who were convicted of crimes to expunge their criminal records; instead, they could only ask to have them set aside. The setting aside of a record does not erase it or seal it from public view, but it can still have many benefits. Under a new law, however, expungements are available for qualifying individuals as of January 2023.
What Does it Mean to Set a Criminal Record Aside?
Having a criminal record set aside means that a note will be added to the record stating that the individual
Continue Reading Arizona’s set aside law and criminal expungement

In-person work has several benefits for both employees and employers, but hybrid work – a mix of in-person and remote work – also has its advantages. One of the primary benefits of in-person work is the opportunity for face-to-face collaboration and communication, which can lead to increased creativity, problem-solving, and productivity. Being able to meet in person can also help build stronger relationships among team members, leading to a more cohesive and effective team overall.

In-person work also allows for better mentorship and training opportunities, as employees can learn directly from their colleagues and superiors. This can be especially valuable
Continue Reading In-person vs. hybrid work – no right answer

Curiosity is an essential human trait that drives us to learn new things, explore the world around us, and seek out new experiences. Being curious and having a desire to learn makes life more interesting and can help you to go far in life. Curiosity drives us to ask questions and seek out new information, which can lead to new insights and understanding. It can also help you to stay engaged and motivated, and can lead to new opportunities and experiences. Encouraging a sense of curiosity in yourself and others can be a great way to foster a love of
Continue Reading Endless curiosity will take you far