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A Simple Thank You

Yesterday I got to spend a little time with Michael Maslanka, whose Blawg 100-listed Work Matters site many of you might know.  As Mike and I shared ideas and perspectives on Web 2.0, blogging in general, and the true sense of community that drives it all, I reflected a bit on 2009 and the people and personalities that make Settlement Perspectives what it is.

While that first post of 2009 seems like only yesterday, a lot has happened since then.  Through it all many of you have subscribed to, commented on and forwarded the posts you have seen here, and for that I cannot thank you enough.

In addition to the active readership we have at Settlement Perspectives, several prominent bloggers and publications have linked to our posts.  Following up on a great idea I saw earlier this week on the Loree Reinsurance and Arbitration Law Forum, I take this opportunity to highlight many of those blogs and publications as a way to say “thank you”.

Decision Tree Analysis And More

Early in the year we did a series on decision trees and how to use them more effectively in mediation and litigation.  The series generated some interesting discussions, including:

  • The National Law Journal’s “Corporate Warfare Has to Make Business Sense These Days”, written by Michael Cavendish — a business litigator who knows what questions to ask and who understands where the practice of law is headed;
  • Litigation Accounting for In-House Counsel at the IP ADR Blog, now Commercial ADR – Commercial Solutions to Justice Problems, which is a new initiative from talented trainer and mediator Victoria Pynchon;
  • Diane Levin’s post A round-up of must-read articles for professional mediators, which highlighted Decision Tree Analysis in Litigation:  The Basics at her ever-insightful Mediation Channel blog;
  • The Strategic Mediator’s article Mediation Preparation – Don’t Forget Your Decision Tree, which focused on Settlement Perspectives’ two-part interview with Marc B. Victor, who pioneered the application of Decision Tree Analysis to litigation in the 1970s; and
  • Strategic Legal Technology’s The Inhouse Perspective on Litigation Risk Analysis and Decision Trees, which also highlighted our discussion of mediation mind maps.

Early Case Assessment

ECAs are always a popular topic, and this year was no exception.  Notable discussions included:

  • Clearwell Systems’ article How to Reduce Electronic Discovery Costs Part III:  Early Case Assessment, which underscores the point that “early case assessment is a different approach to litigation”;
  • Settle It Now’s article Best Early Case Assessment Practices;
  • Don Philbin’s new ADR Highlight Reel, which recently linked to our latest post on the ECA Toolkit; and
  • John Lassey’s interesting post on Impasse at Mediation Stuff.

Blogging and Web 2.0

I may be a bit behind the curve on Web 2.0, but it’s clear we’re all learning together.  The conversation has recently included:

  • InsideCounsel’s “Using Web 2.0 to Advance Your Career”, which we followed up with In-House Legal Blogs, Social Media and Web 2.0:  Can They Advance Your Career?;
  • Settle It Now’s Developing Your Business Without Spending a Dime — which includes marketing tips from one of the best in the business;
  • Diane Levin’s Recommended reading:  24 alternative dispute resolution blogs to follow, which kindly listed Settlement Perspectives among some great ADR blogs out there, as well as Only Connect:  The Impact of Blogging on ADR in the ABA’s Dispute Resolution Magazine and Diane’s World Directory of ADR Blogs, which is a longstanding public service to the ADR community;
  • The Strategic Mediator’s Blogging – Have You Gone There Yet? by Sandra Upchurch, whose “soccer mom” post on competing perspectives highlights how everyday lessons can be used effectively in mediation; and
  • Strong Connections, a post on the Settlement Perspectives Newsletter by my friends at Unit Interactive.

Insurance Coverage

Late in the year we joined the discussion on insurance coverage from the policyholder’s perspective.  Follow-up included:

  • Stephen Goldberg’s impressive Catastrophic Insruance Coverage Blog and “Common Sense Sometimes Wins the Day”;
  • Victoria Pynchon’s  Commercial ADR – Commercial Solutions to Justice Problems, which cited Insurance Coverage: 4 Rules and 10 Tips for Policyholders in her post An insurance coverage negotiation case story; and
  • Philip J. Loree, Jr.’s recent post Some Helpful Rules and Tips for Policyholders and Cedents Courtesy of Settlement Perspectives at Loree Reinsurance and Arbitration Law Forum.

Other Topics and Sites

  • Our friends at continue to list and promote Settlement Perspectives on their Featured Blogs Page — with an area dedicated to our posts here;
  • Jeffrey Krivis and Mariam Zadeh at First Mediation did a great post on The Confidential Listener Technique, which expanded on the blind bidding enhancement concept we discussed early in the year;
  • Christopher Annunziata at CKA Mediation & Arbitration wrote Exchange Your Bottom Line Blindly? in an effort to further explore the blind bidding enhancement concept;
  • Settle It Now furthered the conversation about mediator’s proposals in Mediator’s Proposals:  the Good, the Bad and the Ugly;
  • Legal OnRamp continues to feature Settlement Perspectives and other legal blogs;
  • Keith Jones’ article The “Judicial Hellhole” Label and Managing Expectations at Mediating Certainty elaborated on managing expectations in an important context;
  • Our friends at the Commercial and Industry Arbitration and Mediation Group on LinkedIn, and
  • Philip J. Loree, Jr.’s post with the great idea for this one — Acknowledging Some Kind Mentions from Our Fellow Bloggers — deserves a second mention.

As 2009 comes to an end, I will close as we began.  Thank you, and Happy New Year.


John DeGroote

John serves as a mediator and arbitrator in complex business, technology, and intellectual property matters involving parties and interests around the country and beyond — often before litigation is filed. Prior to his service as a mediator and arbitrator, John served as the lead settlement negotiator in hundreds of cases,… MORE >

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