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While experience is vital in conducting a successful mediation or arbitration, so are insights and understanding. Judge Gordon shares some of her thoughts in her regular series of newsletters.

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Downloadable Resources

COVID-19 and ODR

By Gordon ADR | April 14, 2021

We offer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) using the Zoom Video Conference protocols. Simply put, we are able to provide an easy, efficient and effective way to [READ MORE …]

Zoom: The New Normal

By Gordon ADR | October 5, 2020

With more than 60 full day cases under my belt, I am pleased to underscore the positive results of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). Settlement rates have remained historically high, if not higher. For most of my cases, online proceedings have become [READ MORE …]

Is It Only ‘The Number’?

By Gordon ADR | July 6, 2019

Mediation is not simply a linear, rational process, which arrives at ‘the number’. Veteran mediators recognize that, for the litigants, the emotional aspects of a settlement often involve far more than just venting. Giving up a goal, settling below a certain expectation, or even achieving a favorable settlement can be [READ MORE …]

Exchanged Submissions in Mediation

By Gordon ADR | March 14, 2019

After conducting well over 1000 mediations since retiring from the bench, I’ve noticed that successful lawyers realize participation in a mediation is unlike litigation in many aspects. It requires a very unique skill set that begins with [READ MORE …]

Opening Numbers in Mediation

By Gordon ADR | March 6, 2019

I doubt many of us have seen a dispute settle at a mediation session based on the opening number. Because no one expects the matter to resolve in the first round of bargaining, too little attention is paid to the crafting of opening positions. Some lawyers view [READ MORE …]

Mediation and Metabolism

By Gordon ADR | October 14, 2018

Peak-Trough-Recovery. Mediators see it all the time. It plays out as three phases during the negotiation of litigated cases: The Opening, the Middle Muddle*, and [READ MORE …]

Mediating with a Difficult Opponent

By Gordon ADR | April 6, 2018

A difficult adversary may seem like an impediment to Mediation. After all, if someone is incapable of being [READ MORE …]

Better Mediation Through Chemistry

By Gordon ADR | November 6, 2017

Considerable research has linked the hormone oxytocin with collaboration and creative problem solving. When a person displays trust towards another, the person receiving [READ MORE …]

Can We Talk?

By Gordon ADR | September 3, 2017

As lawyers trained to work in a courtroom, we are not used to having conversations. We make opening statements, we question, we crossexamine and we argue. In mediation, these skills may well be a [READ MORE …]

Secrets and Surprises

By Gordon ADR | June 3, 2017

If you are going to trial, a secret may be your silver bullet but this makes little sense when we live in the era of “the vanishing jury trial.” In fact, in most jurisdictions [READ MORE …]

We’re Being Reasonable – Why Aren’t They?

By Gordon ADR | February 5, 2017

It is not unusual for one or both sides to feel the other side is overvaluing their case and failing to be objective about the risks [READ MORE …]

Secrets of a Successful Mediation

By Gordon ADR | November 5, 2016

Information is power in our legal culture. Secrets and surprises can create an advantage. Hundreds of years of legal culture make lawyers hesitate [READ MORE …]

5th Anniversary Edition

By Gordon ADR | September 3, 2016

When I took my first course in mediation in 1993, it was taught as a process with predictable stages: openings; issue identification; caucus; negotiation; agreement; close. In practice, it is a lot less orderly and much more complex than anyone ever tells you. [READ MORE …]

Alexander Hamilton, Mediator and Arbitrator

By Gordon ADR | July 6, 2016

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway phenomenon Hamilton portrays the life of Alexander Hamilton and the origins of our nation with momentum and [READ MORE …]

Cognitive Bias Not Me

By Gordon ADR | May 28, 2016

We also try to figure out if we should mediate or settle the case and on what terms. We proceed with confidence in the logic of our opinions [READ MORE …]

Negotiation: Know your Style, Develop Your Skills

By Gordon ADR | November 6, 2015

In a difficult negotiation, how does your negotiating style change? [READ MORE …]

The Rule of Reciprocity

By Gordon ADR | July 6, 2015

The rule of reciprocity says that we should “try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us.” This rule is basic [READ MORE …]

Oops – Why Didn’t We Settle?

By Gordon ADR | May 6, 2015

61% of Plaintiffs who reject settlement offers and go to trial recover an average of $43,100 less than the last offer they [READ MORE …]

Are Mediators Neutral?

By Gordon ADR | March 28, 2015

Mediator neutrality is a basic tenet of our profession. But what does that mean? Is the Mediator practicing [READ MORE …]

Don’t Step on Their Toes!

By Gordon ADR | November 28, 2014

Don’t Step on Their Toes! –
The Mediator and Lawyer/Client Relationship [

Abraham Lincoln Had It Right!

By Gordon ADR | October 6, 2014

Before he became President, Abraham Lincoln was a very busy Illinois lawyer with an extensive trial and appellate practice. Yet 150 years before anyone thought up the term “ADR”, Mr. Lincoln[READ MORE …]

Putting Children First

By Gordon ADR | September 28, 2011

Putting Children First: Minimizing Conflict in Custody Disputes by Judge Elaine Gordon (ret.) Elaine Gordon is a retired Superior Court judge and founder of Gordon ADR. She is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators. Check Judge Gordon’s Calendar Former Superior Court Judge […]

Logo of the national academy of distinguished neutrals - a yellow set of scales on a mustard yellow shield