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Law School Class Feels a Little Flat After Exciting Speaker

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After last week’s incredible guest lecture by a veteran crisis negotiator from the Orlando Police Department, my lecture this week felt “flat” by comparison. The visiting detective truly was a tough act to follow. It’s not that the material we were covering this week was boring or unimportant – we examined the types of cases suitable for mediation, learned how to prepare for mediation and studied the value of delivering mediation services in an organized and reliably sequential process. I just never got the feeling that our group discussion gained the type of momentum my students have come to expect from me in previous weeks.

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Florida Mediator Brandon S. Peters

Crisis Negotiator Teaches Mediation Students How to Redirect Unproductive Behaviors

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We had another guest speaker join us this week for class at Florida A&M University College of Law – a veteran detective for the Orlando Police Department who happens to be one of the agency’s most experienced crisis negotiators. My students and I sat mesmerized for two-and-a-half hours while he explained the history and theory of modern crisis negotiation and then narrated audio excerpts from an actual hostage situation he participated in several years ago in downtown Orlando.

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Mediating Professor: Psychological Aspects at Least as Important as Legal, Financial

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This week, we had a guest speaker – a prominent clinical psychiatrist I happen to know. He delivered a fascinating lecture titled “Anxiety, Cognitive Distortions and the Impact on Mediation” to my class at Florida A&M University College of Law. … A major theme of my lectures so far has been the notion that mediation is a human construct, subject to human weaknesses. As anyone with significant mediation experience well knows, a highly-agitated party or lawyer can hijack the entire mediation process and obstruct the other participants from their pursuit of a meaningful resolution.

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UWWM Principal Kimberly Sands

Return to Civility: How to Communicate More Effectively in Today’s Professional Environment

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I recently had the great pleasure of joining Donna DeVaney Stockham, a principal with Stockham Law Group, and Michael Parker, a shareholder in the law firm of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, in a panel discussion titled “Return to Civility: How to Communicate More Effectively in Today’s Professional Environment.” The presentation was made at the annual WINDSTORM Conference, this year in New Orleans, La. WINDSTORM Insurance Network, Inc., is a professional organization dedicated to providing education and training and promoting a cooperative dialogue among professionals concerned with first party property insurance issues.

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Mediator/Professor Tries to Model Patience, Diplomacy for Students

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Last weekend, I attended a picnic sponsored by the law school. One of my students came over to the table where I was working and introduced me to her significant other. The young man told me that my student had been encouraging him to use some of the negotiation strategies we had recently been discussing in class to address an issue that had arisen at his workplace. (Could it be that I am actually making an impact?)

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Law School Exercise Challenges Stereotypes, Assumptions

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During our third week of class, I created a new exercise to help my students identify stereotypes and learn to refrain from prejudging other people. I asked the students to characterize the homes in which they were raised and to share one important fact about their upbringings that their classmates might be surprised to learn.

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