March 2017 Bar Bulletin
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March 2017 Bar Bulletin

Become a More Successful
Negotiator or Mediator

By Chris Goelz
and Donna Lurie


Negotiation and mediation require a dizzying set of legal, tactical and interpersonal skills. We can all sharpen and expand our ADR tools. Some of us could use some help formulating probing questions. Some may want to explore the line between influence and manipulation. Others may want to add improvisational skills to their tool chests.

The 23rd Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference offers all this and more, with an array of excellent and provocative sessions presented by top trainers from around the region and across the country. Whether you are an advocate or a neutral, whether you are new to the legal profession or have successfully served your clients for many years, you can enjoy a variety of high quality training.

The Conference will be held on March 23–24 at the University of Washington School of Law. You can earn up to 11.25 CLE credits, including 3.75 ethics credits (pending WSBA approval). Registration and conference details can be found at

In addition to presentations by luminaries such as Kenneth Cloke, Dr. John Medina and Nina Meierding, the conference will include the following sessions:

• “Mediation Advocacy: How to Effectively Represent Clients and Negotiate Good Settlements” with Lee Jay Berman;

• “Decisions and Processes for Early Resolution” with Teresa Wakeen, Jack Connelly and Gary Andrews;

• “Arbitration Primer: Tips and Best Practices for Advocates” with Terrence Carroll, Steve Koh and Serena Lee;

• “Deception in Mediation and Negotiation” with Jeff Merrick;

• “Deciding on the Appropriate Decision-Maker” with Carolyn Cairns and Cliff Freed;

• “Drafting the ‘Perfect’ ADR Clause” with Govinda Jayasinghe and Warren Rheaume;

• “Negotiating Contractual and Bad Faith Insurance Disputes” with Lisa Jaye, Steven Phillips and Christopher Carroll;

• “Decision Making: Process, Pitfalls, and Prevention” with Kimberlee Kovach; and

• “Negotiation and Gender Intelligence” with Stephanie Bell Blondell.

All told, more than 45 lively sessions are available, including the Advocacy Track, sponsored by the American Arbitration Association, which is a great training vehicle for new/young lawyers and will systematically analyze the skills needed for successful client representation in mediation and arbitration. The collaborative game of “Zombie Fight or Flight” will be available to play during the Friday lunch break.

As one attendee to last year’s conference put it, the Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference provides a “broad spectrum of topics and the opportunity to explore and learn new things and to engage with more depth old things plus the opportunity to engage with others.”

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