Andrea Schneider

I just posted this short article using memoirs by and/or about five women to illustrate common patterns of conflict.  The books describe women throughout the life cycle in different eras and places.
Reading people’s stories can help us to “look through others’ eyes” to learn about worlds we do not know and to help us understand our own experiences.
My article builds on Felstiner, Abel, and Sarat’s classic article, Naming, Blaming, and Claiming, describing the genesis of disputes.  Their framework describes how people develop “perceived injurious experiences” (PIEs), some of which become grievances (when they blame others), some of which become
Continue Reading Tales of Five Women

Hi everyone.  Join me on zoom as we celebrate Women’s History Month in the BIGGEST way!  Super excited for my fireside chat with the incredible Gloria Steinem!
Continue Reading Cardozo Journal on Conflict Resolution–International Advocate for Peace Award to Gloria Steinem Next Wednesday!

This post started as a response to Jen Reynolds’s comment about my Avatar Mediation post.  It has grown into this new post about AI generally, growing anxiety about it and the state of the world, and how we can manage this anxiety.
AI Risks . . . and Potential Benefits
Jen wrote, “I hope that we don’t get so hung up on the anthropomorphic romanticizing of this technology that we forget the corporate overlords and others who benefit from extracting/mining data.”
I agree that there are serious and growing risks from the control and abuse of the gobs of data
Continue Reading AI, ADR, and Anxiety

I have been reading the classic dystopian novel, 1984, which has eerie echoes in the present day.  It is modeled on Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany and “examines the role of truth and facts within societies and the ways in which they can be manipulated,” according to the Wikipedia summary.  It takes place in Oceania, which is ruled by “The Party,” whose slogans are “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” and “Ignorance is Strength.”
Fast forward to the present, where the Fox “News” Network repeatedly broadcasted reports of election fraud that top executives knew to be false.  Not
Continue Reading 1984 in 2023

I’m sure no techie, but probably like you, I have been intrigued about stories about the ChatGPT program.  One illustration was in my post, A Mediator and a Bot Walk into a Bar …
Of course, artificial intelligence almost certainly will become much more sophisticated in the foreseeable future.  Major tech firms have been working on their own AI systems, and the ChatGPT sensation has spurred them to accelerate their efforts.
People have speculated about how AI will affect things that people routinely do for work – and what jobs will become obsolete because bots will perform the tasks much
Continue Reading Avatar Mediation

Bill Richardson – current hostage negotiator and former US Ambassador the United Nations, US Secretary of Energy, Member of Congress, and Governor of New Mexico (Wikipedia page here) – will deliver the Meyerson Lecture on Tuesday March 14th at 7pm PT at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  If you are in Phoenix for Spring Break or Spring Training, please join us (sign up here).  If you can’t make it to Phoenix, we will be recording the lecture and posting it on the Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center’s web page for viewing.  Once it’s
Continue Reading Bill Richardson to deliver the Bruce E. Meyerson Lecture at Arizona State

The word of the month for March is “hallucination.”
Chat GPT and other AI programs have been big news lately. Both this blog and the DRLE listserv have hosted lively discussions about what advances in AI may mean for legal education and conflict resolution — not to mention for poetry about conflict resolution.
Just this past week, John Oliver did a segment on AI, in which the director of Stanford’s Digital Economy Lab, Erik Brynjolfsson, noted the considerable impacts that AI will have on information and knowledge workers:
 I would put lawyers right at the top of the list
Continue Reading March: Hallucination

It may be a weird time to suggest getting rid of bar exams considering that bar exams will soon include questions about client counseling and advising, negotiation and dispute resolution, and client relationship and management.
Inclusion of these subjects on the bar exam could lead to welcome changes in legal education to better prepare law students for legal practice.  Law schools have strong interests in having their graduates pass the bar, so they are likely to require students to take courses that cover these subjects.  This could lead to greater integration of dispute resolution in the curriculum, as suggested by
Continue Reading Should We Get Rid of the Bar Exam?

All this AI stuff is bending my mind.
It’s been around for quite a while, but the experience with ChatGPT has profoundly changed our perceptions, feelings, and expectations about it.
We wonder what human skills and tasks will become obsolete as machines are able to perform some so much better, faster, and cheaper.
People have suggested that AI won’t be able to replace human empathy.
I wonder.
Based on our experiences with ChatGPT, it’s easy to imagine a human-like deepfake avatar that has learned to use the language of active listening.  It wouldn’t be very convincing if it sounds like
Continue Reading AI and Empathy

On Wednesday, March 1, at 12:45 PM (Eastern), Prof. Andrea Schneider (Cardozo) will deliver the 2023 Philip B. Blank Memorial Lecture on Attorney Ethics at Haub Law School (Pace). RSVP here to attend either in person or via Zoom.
The title of her talk is “The Conflict in Arbitrator Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Public Judges or Private Neutrals?, ” and this is the description:
The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) provides for the vacatur of an arbitral award, “where there was evident partiality or corruption in the arbitrators.” This standard is both short in words and clarity. While corruption is generally
Continue Reading Sign up to hear Andrea Schneider deliver Blank Lecture at Pace on Arbitrator Ethics

From FOI, ADR Notable and Gary Doernhoefer:A few days spent on the campus of Grinnell College left me more hopeful about our society than I’ve felt in quite a while. Grinnell has a Peace and Conflict Studies concentration (PCS) – a set of courses that will be reflected in the student’s transcript along with their designated major. Beginning last year, I have worked with faculty, staff and a small number of alumni to supplement the PCS curriculum with conflict management skills training, information about potential careers, and an initial effort to establish relevant internships. We have achieved all three goals
Continue Reading We can help tomorrow’s peacemakers today

Black’s Law Dictionary definition of “smoking gun” could be Dominion Voting System’s brief supporting its motion for summary judgment against Fox “News.”
Dominion’s argument is summed up in a Washington Post headline, “Fox News feared losing viewers by airing truth about election, documents show.  ‘Everything at stake here,’ billionaire founder Rupert Murdoch wrote to a top executive in November 2020, part of a cache of internal communications revealed in a $1.6 billion defamation suit.”
Litigators fantasize about finding incriminating documents buried in a mass of discovery, the so-called “smoking guns.”  Often, they are emails by mid-level employees proving that
Continue Reading Fox’s Smoking Gun

From Jen Shack, the director of research for Resolution Systems Institute (RSI), which is a fabulous organization doing great work in our field:
RSI is looking for a new PhD researcher to join our expanding research and evaluation department.
We’re looking for someone who is interested in qualitative research, including focus groups, interviews, mediation observations, etc., and who has quantitative skills as well, as we start two exciting new projects.
Here’s the position announcement.  Note that the position is fully remote within the US, so geography need not be a limitation.
Please pass this along to anyone who might
Continue Reading RSI is Hiring a Researcher

From our dear FOI Brian Pappas (North Dakota):
Ava Abramowitz recently published an interesting article in Cardozo’s journal describing how consultative selling research can be used to expand a mediator’s effectiveness.  I highly recommend it and my summary here does not do the piece justice.  Essentially, the research demonstrates that people go through multiple stages (recognizing needs, evaluating options, resolving concerns, and making and implementing decisions) before being willing to make an important decision.  Through Behavior Analysis, research identified interactive communications behaviors that correlate with success in sales.  The research demonstrates how telling and sharing expertise does not persuade people. 
Continue Reading Reinventing the Wheel

The first paragraph of the Ninth Circuit’s decisions says it all:“California enacted Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) to protect employees from what it called “forced arbitration” by making it a criminal offense for an employer to require an existing employee or an applicant for employment to consent to arbitrate specified claims as a condition of employment. But AB 51 criminalizes only contract formation; an arbitration agreement executed in violation of this law is enforceable. California took this approach to avoid conflict with Supreme Court precedent, which holds that a state rule that discriminates against arbitration is preempted by the Federal
Continue Reading No Surprise Here: Ninth Circuit Rules that California’s AB51, Criminalizing “Forced” Arbitration is Preempted