Andrew M. Tolchin

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Since the coronavirus pandemic began, to get business done, attorneys and mediators alike have adapted to virtual conferences and virtual remote mediations via Zoom.   While in-person mediations are optimal– a matter of personal preference– here are ten observations on why Zoom mediations succeed:  1. Reduced barriers and shared circumstances. On Zoom, we are in […] The post 10 Reasons Zoom Mediations Succeed appeared first on 713-MEDIATOR | Andrew Tolchin, Mediator | Houston, Texas.…
Many disputes at mediation arise out of the perceptions, misperceptions, or biases of one or more parties. How the legal advisor perceives these perceptions when the parties tell their side of the story directly impacts the subsequent advice to the clients. How the mediator perceives the facts, parties, and their counsel can similarly be a […] The post Bias, Diversity, and Inclusion: MCLE State Survey and Dispute Resolution appeared first on 713-MEDIATOR | Andrew Tolchin, Mediator | Houston, Texas.…
Settlement talks happen in and outside mediation and often are reduced to a Rule 11 Agreement. Settlement negotiations are typically related to the needs and interests of the client represented by counsel and limited to the case at hand. Sometimes a defendant seeks to bargain for protection against future representation of additional or future plaintiffs […] The post No-Fly Zone: The Demand to Limit Future Client Representation appeared first on 713-MEDIATOR | Andrew Tolchin, Mediator | Houston, Texas.…
Mediation is only one way to reach an outcome where parties have control. The opposite is to let the court decide and then appeal. The outcome can be anything, and sometimes the courts are innovative in their approach. Here is an example of such innovation that could just as easily be found in a civil […] The post Video in Appellate Opinion: An advance in Jurisprudential Communication appeared first on 713-MEDIATOR | Andrew Tolchin, Mediator | Houston, Texas.…
The one-size-fits-all nomenclature, “alternative dispute resolution” (“ADR”)  lumps together two vastly different dispute resolution processes: “arbitration” and “mediation.” If arbitration means “you decide for us,” mediation means “we work it out together.”  The term ADR serves as the lexical umbrella that combines these paired opposites. This coupling of “mediation” and “arbitration” as “ADR” may have made sense in […] The post The ADR Anachronism: Decoupling Arbitration and Mediation appeared first on 713-MEDIATOR | Andrew Tolchin, Mediator | Houston, Texas.…
Mediation is often an opportunity for parties to a conflict to relate to and communicate with one another to move closer to resolution. While the ultimate goal is a total resolution, the incremental goal is positional movement and interpersonal understanding. The mediator who relates well with all parties and their respective counsel betters the odds […] The post Mediation and Motivation: A Survey of Resolutional Circumstances appeared first on 713-MEDIATOR | Andrew Tolchin, Mediator | Houston, Texas.…
The purpose of mediation is to bring parties closer together and ideally to reach an amicable solution and settlement. To achieve this result, the mediation is a facilitated conversation. Like any conversation, it takes both parties to engage each other. For there to be a successful conversation, both parties need to speak as well as […] The post Court-Ordered Mediation: Attend in Good Faith appeared first on 713-MEDIATOR | Andrew Tolchin, Mediator | Houston, Texas.…
Diversity and multiculturalism are inextricably intertwined into mediation. While disputes have legal facets, they are rooted in problems stemming from individuals themselves, in addition to the facts. Parties express positions, and an effective mediator needs to look for and recognize underlying interests, values, wants, and needs. In essence, understanding what makes the parties tick can […] The post Cultural Diversity: Implicit and Explicit Bias at Mediation appeared first on 713-MEDIATOR | Andrew Tolchin, Mediator | Houston, Texas.…
Joint session is an opportunity for the mediator to introduce the parties and counsel to the mediation process all in the same room. There, together, the mediator can then call upon the parties to, in an orderly way determined by the mediator, communicate with one another about areas of agreement, facts, emotions, concerns, and even matters […] The post Fundamentals of the Constructive Mediation Joint Session appeared first on 713-MEDIATOR | Andrew Tolchin, Mediator | Houston, Texas.…
Opening session is valuable and should be the default– except in family law matters. In determining whether to place the parties into the same room at the beginning of a mediation, there are several approaches: an opening joint session; a meet and greet between the parties and their counsel, then divide them into separated caucus […] The post Social Cause for Misperception of the Mediation Joint Session appeared first on 713-MEDIATOR | Andrew Tolchin, Mediator | Houston, Texas.…