Let’s Try a Presidential Dialogue

By Robert C. Bordone and Heather Scheiwe Kulp

UPDATE: See the authors’ related Los Angeles Times op-ed here.

After the first presidential debate, it was hard to tell whether the pollsters and pundits were talking about the NFL or the candidates’ meeting.  President Obama’s “prevent defense” and “two-yard runs down the middle” were criticized, while Romney was said to have “spiked the football.”

If the presidential debate was reported more as a sporting event, the vice presidential debate seemed more a horror movie. The next day’s newsbytes cited the Vice President’s “show of teeth” and “barroom brawling” and Rep. Paul Ryan’s “lacerating blows.” Some even called Biden “unhinged.”

As conflict resolution professionals whose entire professional lives are devoted to teaching others how to listen more effectively to each other and engage in genuine, learning dialogue, we had high hopes for the “town hall” format of Tuesday’s Presidential debate. Here, at last, would be a chance for a real conversation between citizens and candidates and, as the format originally intended, between the two candidates themselves. The format, in theory, would invite both candidates to respond directly to questions from undecided voters in the room, making the kind of hand-to-hand, tit-for-tat jousting of previous debates more unseemly and inappropriate in front of the seated citizens.

But joust and tussle they did, all night long.  By the time the first question from an undecided voter had been answered, the citizen/voters in the room were relegated to mere pawns, props in the candidate’s epic battle.  CBS’ Norah O’Donnell wondered afterward whether the candidates might even come to blows at times.

Sadly, at home, we too kept score. We tweeted and we blogged. We cheered when our candidate had a good zinger.  We booed when the other seemed out-of-line.

So how is it that during these debates, even we, purported conflict resolution professionals, were so easily sucked into a win/lose mentality? After all, virtually every day we counsel our own students that it is precisely in situations where stakes are high and emotions are strong—like in this election—that deploying conflict management skills matter most.

In the past few election cycles, news coverage of debates has come to resemble more closely SportsCenter or TMZ than considered engagement of nuanced issues in a representative democracy. The language of performance has seeped into our political speech, even with processes that did not used to be so fraught with scorekeeping.

The Lincoln-Douglas senatorial debates give some historical perspective. The original debates were a series of seven three-hour conversations between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas designed to inform the citizenry about a shared value—freedom—and which slavery policies would best preserve that value in America. Thousands of rural Midwesterners came out to participate. After each debate, newspapers around the country published the full text, so other citizens could engage the material around their own pot roasts, pool halls, and church pews.

But when the post-debate talk  ̶  both on TV and in our own homes – is more about who won the 140-character Tweet fight than about the deeper values, priorities, and visions articulated by the candidates, something has gone awry.  Voters have been transformed from active citizens to mere political spectators.

With entertainment rhetoric firmly in place, “We the People” too often mistake a presidential or senatorial debate for a WWF wrestling match.  We voter/fans consume product pitches and spit back chants (“De-fense! De-fense”) instead of expecting that our political leaders engage in fruitful dialogue. Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen even admitted that the debates were “theater,” designed so that voters can “see great performances because it helps [a party] spread the word that this is a ticket worth buying.”

So are presidential debates doomed to be just another excuse to gather friends, family, and other partisans around snacks and beer to enjoy the show?

We hope not. Political entertainment does little good for the voters or the country.  Despite the troubling dumbing-down of our political campaigns and news coverage of them, we believe that at heart most of us still tune in to the debates because we want to understand how the candidates will address the most challenging and important issues of the day.

But form must follow function. The current debate structure, with two-minute-per-candidate answers to questions, whether from a reporter or a hapless undecided voter, along with the endless post-game scorekeeping-posing-as-analysis, doesn’t allow such discussion.

Because the current meaning of “debate” is so fraught with analogies to sport and show, we question if debate is what the country really needs. Perhaps we ought to reframe and retitle these important national moments as “Presidential Dialogues” and invite our candidates to model a productive, positive discourse for the American people, one that will be necessary if either of them is likely to be successful as our next leader.

Thomas Jefferson knew that public exposure to national dialogue was the only remedy against a concentration of power. In 1778, he introduced A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge. The preamble asserted that even the most conscientious of governments gets sucked in to hunger games. The only check, he believed, was to “illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large.” The people, then, could identify perversions of power and engage fully in national conversations about their own individual rights.

The spin doctors say that people have no attention span for such engagement, that the general population won’t understand the complexities of social security or the tax code. “Spoon feed them; make words sticky,” they say.

Most people are more thoughtful than that. Indeed, the questions the citizens asked last night were important, thoughtful, and relevant. Voters want and need substance and real dialogue, not sound bites.

A Presidential Dialogue, modeled on a dinner table conversation between two neighbors with competing visions but shared hope for a better community, could bring us back to something closer to the original intention of political debates.  It could engage more of us, for longer, than a 90 minute brawl.

Imagine what it would be like to see two candidates aspiring to high political office, both with divergent and conflicting views, able to engage such a challenging dialogue.  It might show us a real example of leadership, one that would inspire the rest of us to model it with our own neighbors, friends, and even our foes. We call it trickle-down dialogue.

Robert C. Bordone is the Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Director of the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program. Heather Scheiwe Kulp is a Clinical Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program

Bridging Cultural and Technological Divides: The Role of Culture in Email Negotiations Between American and Chinese Negotiators

By Matthew Parker, a 3L law student at Harvard Law School

I. Introduction: The Role of Culture in Email Negotiations

Culture fundamentally affects email negotiations. In an increasingly globalized world where cross-border negotiations have increased substantially[1] and the use of email communication has grown exponentially,[2] surprisingly little research, however, has been conducted on culture’s role in email negotiations. Culture supplies the building blocks for interpreting and structuring social interactions like negotiations,[3] and email can fundamentally change how these social interactions are played out.[4] In this article, I bridge the gap in current negotiation research between culture and email to argue that culture is an important factor in email negotiations that influences negotiation behaviors and outcomes. Taking a case study approach by examining literature on cross-cultural negotiations between American and Chinese negotiators, I contend that different cultural influences affect the behavior of negotiators from the United States and China when they negotiate together using email.

I begin this article by reviewing some of the existing literature on the effects of culture on negotiation before turning to an examination of the way that email changes the negotiation dynamic. Combining research on email negotiations with literature on the role of culture in the negotiation process, I show that culture affects email negotiations. I then conclude by summarizing my findings and suggesting avenues for further research into the dynamic interplay between culture, email and negotiation.

II. Culture and Negotiation: A Review of the Impact of Culture on American and Chinese Negotiators

The way people understand and act during a negotiation reflects fundamental cultural assumptions varying along numerous cultural dimensions that are explored in this section of the paper.[5] While it is certainly true that there is substantial variation in negotiation behaviors, norms, values and beliefs within a culture, there is a greater and sometimes even dramatic variation between cultures.[6] The most significant cultural differences among American and Chinese negotiators occur along the individualism-collectivism, high-low power distance and high-low context dimensions.[7] Each of these differences warrants further discussion because they have a significant impact on the way American and Chinese negotiators negotiate.

  1. a.     The Individualism-Collectivism Dimension

American culture is often characterized as individualist whereas Chinese culture is seen as more collectivist.[8] In countries with highly individualist cultures like the United States, people are more likely to consider themselves as independent of the social group and thus more free to focus on personal goals.[9] As a result, American negotiators generally rely more on analytical-rational thinking styles that focus on the problem, and use tactics such as argumentation based on logic and the presentation of facts.[10] In contrast, negotiators from countries with more collectivist cultures like China rely more on intuitive-experiential thinking styles and use tactics that appeal to emotions, social obligations, and the desire to maintain harmony and save face.[11] Consequently, Chinese negotiators are more likely to think about negotiation in terms of relationships whereas American negotiators are generally more focused on outcome.[12]

New research, however, suggests that these characterizations about individualist and collectivist negotiation styles may be too simplistic and that collectivists may actually act more aggressively to out-group members (i.e. people who are not a part of their collective).[13] Researchers posit that when negotiating with strangers outside their culture, negotiators from collectivist cultures may no longer feel constrained by a concern for others and are thus more likely to reveal their egotistical sides.[14] It is thus clear that the individualism-collectivism dimension affects how negotiators negotiate, suggesting for our purposes that this cultural dimension has implications for American-Chinese email negotiations.

 


[1] See Wendi Adair et al., Culture and Negotiation Strategy, Negot. J. 87, 87 (2004).

[2] See Janice Nadler & Donna Shestowsky, Negotiation, Information Technology, and the Problem of the Faceless Other, in Negotiation Theory and Research 145, 145 (Leigh Thompson ed., 2006).

[3] Jeanne Brett & Michael Gelfand, A Cultural Analysis of the Underlying Assumptions of Negotiation Theory, in Frontiers of Social Psychology: Negotiations 173, 175 (Leigh Thompson ed. 2005).

[4] See, e.g., Nadler & Shestowsky, supra note 2, at 145; Ashleigh Rosette et al., When Cultures Clash Electronically: The Impact of Email and Culture on Negotiation Behavior 3 (Disp. Resol. Res. Ctr., Nw. U., Working Paper No. 302, 2004); Michael Morris et al., Schmooze or Lose: Social Friction and Lubrication in E-Mail Negotiations 6 Group Dynamics: Theory, Res., and Prac. 89 (2002).

[5] Brett & Gelfand, supra note 3, at 175.

[6] Jeanne Brett et al., Culture and Joint Gains in Negotiation, 14 Negot. J. 61, 79 (1998).

[7] Wendy Adair & Jeanne Brett, Culture and Negotiation Process, in The Handbook of Negotiation and Culture 158, 161 (Michele Gelfand & Jeanne Brett eds., 2004); E. Alan Buttery & T.K.P. Leung, The Difference Between Chinese and Western Negotiations, 32 Eur. J. Market. 374, 375-77 (1998).

[8] Brett et al., supra note 6, at 65-67.

[9] Adair & Brett, supra note 3, at 160.

[10] Gregory Kersten et al., The Effects of Culture in Anonymous Negotiations: Experiment in Four Countries, in Proceedings of the 35th Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science 418, 421 (2002).

[11] Gelfand & Dyer, A Cultural Perspective on Negotiation: Progress, Pitfalls, and Prospects, 49 App. Psychol.: Int’l Rev. 62, 81 (2000); Adair & Brett, supra note 7, at 159-60.

[12] See Adair & Brett, supra note 7, at 160-61.

[13] Xiao-Ping Chen & Shu Li, Cross-National Differences in Cooperative Decision-Making in Mixed-Motive Business Contexts: The Mediating Effect of Vertical and Horizontal Individualism, 36 J. Int’l Bus. Stud. 622, 624 (2005); at 624; Rosette et al., supra note 4, at 8.

[14] Chen & Li, supra note 13, at 624 (discussing a series of studies conducted by researcher Toshio Yamagishi).

Click here to download the full article (PDF)

Collaborative Divorce: A Model for Effective Problem-Solving and Prevention

divorceA Review of Forrest S. Mosten, Collaborative Divorce Handbook*
By
Thomas D. Barton**

Introduction

Collaborate Divorce Handbook, by Forrest S. Mosten, delivers what its title suggests–a complete, point-by-point practical guide for lawyers wishing to learn about collaborative divorce techniques.  But this book also offers much more, and to a far broader readership.  It can inspire all lawyers to adopt a stronger, more effective, and more personal approach to clients.  It can inform related professionals–mental health specialists, coaches, and financial advisors–about the process of collaborative divorce and how they may best join in it.  Finally, the warmth and depth of human understanding in this book can prompt reflection on personal values, professional satisfaction, and the possibility of peacemaking.

The Handbook is the latest chapter in Mosten’s life-long quest to make legal services and counseling more accessible and helpful to the average person.  He pioneered the establishment of legal clinics and unbundling of legal services and has been a leading proponent of Preventive Law, problem solving, and mediation.  He has encountered a broad range of human disagreements and observed their attempted resolution using a variety of alternative techniques.  His reflections on the values and principles underpinning Collaborative Law are thereby uniquely mature, and can be applied throughout legal practice. His eloquent and comprehensive approach offers significant benefits for clients and lawyers alike.  Quoting Pauline Tesler, Mosten speaks of changing the understanding of a lawyer’s role, the relationship with one’s client, the ways of approaching other lawyers and parties, and the structure and commitment to the negotiation process.3

Mosten organizes the Handbook as one would approach the counseling of a client: with respect for the reader’s needs, choices, and intelligence.  Mosten certainly instructs, but he also wants us to succeed. Always open-minded and objective, he compares and contrasts a variety of alternative models to collaborative divorce.  He realistically offers vital advice for how to talk with one’s client as well as one’s counterpart attorney about the collaborative approach when one or both may be resistant to its structure or underlying assumptions.  The book supplies dozens of checklists and tips, together with a supplemental website of testimonials, suggestions, and ways to continue in an organized dialogue with other experienced collaborative practitioners.

Understanding Collaborative Law and Building a Collaborative Practice

In exploring Collaborative Law,4 Mosten addresses three basic questions: (1) what is collaborative law; (2) how is it done; and (3) how can the reader get started in a collaborative practice?

The “what” is a philosophy and basic method that unite varying models of Collaborative Divorce.  The philosophy is that collaboration and settlement should be the “last step along the dispute resolution highway,”5 not a mere way-station before the expected destination in court.  If the divorcing parties feel they must resort to court, the collaborative lawyers have essentially failed.  Although subject to variation, the basic method of Collaborative Divorce is a breath-taking innovation.  Attorneys representing both of the divorcing parties agree that they will withdraw from further representation if a settlement is not reached.6 In other words, the attorneys may not represent a collaborative client in court.  Their work is basically at an end.  Mosten quotes Ousky and Webb: “Collaborative attorneys actually sign a contract that commits them–along with you and your spouse–to reaching a settlement.  The contract, called a Participation Agreement, requires the attorneys to withdraw from your case if they can’t resolve all of your issues out of court.”7

The “how” is equal in importance to the “what,” says Mosten.  This is part of the collaborative attitude.8 The what and how begin to merge in this book, a refreshing approach that values the means for achieving ends, as well as the ends themselves.  Concern for the method by which a settlement is obtained pays rich dividends in the future relationships of the parties and their children.  Mosten writes:

The how is the way the parties speak with each other when discussing concerns that each has with the other.  Traditional lawyers often focus on the terms of parenting and financial agreements and try to avoid discussing the how or assume that such toxic and damaging spousal interaction will never change.  Collaborative lawyers believe that by helping parties with the process, lasting settlements occur more frequently and with much reduced transaction costs.9

The collaborative lawyer uses transparency and candor10 to expand both the framing of the problem and the cooperative spirit by which it can be addressed:

The way a problem is defined often dictates its outcome.  Adversarial lawyers . . . may limit the problem and its solution to mirror how a judge would decide the matter if litigated . . . . Collaborative lawyers believe that the legal outcome is just one of the many ways to define the problem.  By opening up new creative perspectives of how a solution may be addressed, settlements can be reached by widening the scope of the problem to include the relationships of all members of the family, how the parties will emotionally handle any solution, and how the result will affect finances now and in the future.11

Once the aims of successful divorce representation are opened up, so also is the method that can and should be used.  This is introduced under the topic of “Values and Principles of Collaborative Law.”  Mosten introduces, and later elaborates, on each of these tenets:

  • Respect and dignity for the other party and other professionals
  • Direct and open communication with the other party and professionals;
  • Voluntary and full disclosure of relevant information and documents necessary to make agreements;
  • Commitment to the healing of the family; [and]
  • Use of interest-based negotiation to try to meet the needs of both parties.12

Lawyers should not take for granted that these attitudes generally prevail in divorce representation or in other areas of practice.  The adversarial system is primarily designed for achieving truth, not for facilitating strong future relationships.  But the adversarial system is the foundation of Anglo-American court procedures, as well as of traditional thinking about lawyers’ professional responsibility.  Indeed, one key element in Collaborative Law practice has raised some legal ethical concerns.  It is the commitment made by collaborative lawyers to refrain from representing clients in court, should settlement negotiations stall or fail.  As Mosten explains , the participation agreement can be a private agreement among parties and professionals or a court order.  This agreement is signed in addition to separate engagement agreements between each client and each professional.  It is important for all parties to understand the agreement terms.  If either party terminates the collaborative process or participates in adversary proceedings in violation of this agreement, the attorneys and all other collaborative professionals should not continue representing the parties, and new attorneys and professionals should be hired.13

In requiring the lawyers to withdraw from further representation in the event that the issues cannot be resolved out of court, some feel that the pressure on collaborative lawyers to settle is simply too strong.  They feel the client’s interest could be compromised by the lawyer’s felt need to continue the representation.  Some others are uncomfortable with the possibility of one lawyer forcing a withdrawal of another attorney’s representation.14 Mosten is straight-forward in his defense that lawyers using this “disqualification” clause remain within the traditional responsibilities to the client:

If you serve as a lawyer for a client who decides to use collaborative divorce, your client is entitled to the same professional obligations of competence and loyalty to which you would [be] obligated in any other lawyer arrangement.  In concrete terms, this means that you have a duty to pursue the client’s objectives, protect your client from financial harm and legal exposure, inform your client of legal rights, produce competent work, keep all attorney-client communications confidential, avoid conflicts of interest, and ensure that your fees are fair and that clients understand them.  Although your approach may differ from the traditional model, you are still a lawyer.15

For additional help, Mosten also supplies a section entitled “Questions and Answers About Ethical and Competent Service,” which addresses issues arising for lawyers living in states both with and without specific collaborative enabling statutes.16

Furthermore, says Mosten, responsible practice requires that an attorney walk a new client step-by-step through the process of obtaining an informed consent of a client, explaining each of the alternative models of representation that are available.  This should be done even if the lawyer is not willing to represent the client under one or more of those alternatives.17 Mosten supplies a well-organized template to direct this discussion, entitled “A Guide for Discussion with Clients on Collaborative Practice.”18 Each of the various aspects of alternatives of collaborative representation is shown in a column, parallel to which are additional columns describing first the benefits, and then the risks, of those choices.19

Included in one row of the template, for example, is an entry marked “Trained Collaborative Professionals.”  That appears because the collaborative model does not assume mere collaboration among lawyers and clients.  Included also in the idea of Collaborative Divorce is participation by one or more other professionals: psychologists, child specialists, divorce coaches, mediators, and financial planners.  The family is seen as a system comprised of a variety of people and needs, present and future, not all of which are necessarily best addressed by lawyers.

The particular roles and responsibilities of each of these specialists are valuably analyzed.20 In considering how those other professionals may be used, however, Mosten again does not urge one particular model.  Instead, he describes alternative structures, compares their advantages and shortcomings, and stresses choice, practicality, and flexibility.  This part of the Handbook is especially useful for lawyers who may be inexperienced in how to work with other professionals.  Mediators, coaches, psychologists and financial analysts involved in divorce work would also benefit greatly from the dozens of practical tips as well as broad understanding of collaborative structure that Mosten provides.

Obviously, adding these other professionals increases the cost of forging a divorce settlement, a concern for both the lawyers and the parties who must ultimately bear those costs.  On the positive side, this team approach still is likely to be less expensive than resort to litigation.21 Furthermore, the resulting agreement and more positive relationships may prevent many future problems with unknown but potentially substantial costs.  On the other hand, “there appears to be no data showing [Collaborative Divorce] is less expensive than traditional lawyer-negotiated settlements . . . and no data comparing the cost of collaborative divorce to mediation, even with consulting attorneys.”22 That raises at least two issues.  First, how should one discuss these costs with a client so that informed consent is reached?  And second, what steps may be taken to reduce the costs of using collaboration, especially with a full interdisciplinary team?

On the first issue, Mosten’s informed consent template sets out the benefits and risks to the client.  On the benefits side,

You and your spouse may benefit from using a team of collaborative professionals with different skills.  Collaborative professionals usually have had special training to help promote constructive settlements.  By investing the time and money for professional training, collaborative professionals demonstrate a commitment to constructive negotiation.23

The risk, however, is that “[y]ou or your spouse may feel some pressure to use more professionals than you want or feel that you can afford.”24

As possible mitigation of some of those costs as well as to broaden the choice and effectiveness of the collaborative process, Mosten includes analysis for which he is perhaps uniquely qualified.  He draws upon his years of varied experience in the chapter entitled “How Collaborative Divorce Works with Mediation and Unbundled Legal Services.”25 Here, Mosten describes how “mediation can be a partner with collaborative divorce”26 and how unbundling is an inherent, but flexible part of collaborative lawyering.

Mediation, of course, is a well-known process in which lawyers may act in the role of either the neutral mediator or as the representative of a party engaged in mediation.  Mosten systematically sets out a broad variety of ways in which mediation could be used to augment the collaborative approach, or as an alternative to it.  In each variation, Mosten describes the differing roles that could usefully be played by the lawyer.

Although expensive, “having collaborative representatives plus a mediator may be the best of all worlds . . . . ”27 “Many clients want to use the neutrality of mediation but also want the advice and protection of an attorney who would both be mediation friendly and supportive of it and affordable.”28 Mediation could, for example, be a useful adjunct to collaborative divorce at the beginning of the process.  Mosten describes this possibility from the client’s perspective:

If you arrange for a mediator to join the collaborative process from (or near) the beginning, you may design a process that helps your clients have it all ways.  Your client gets your support, advice, and feeling of your protection, and the other party gets similarly taken care of by the other collaborative lawyer or team.  At the same time, the mediator can set a neutral and safe atmosphere while playing a more jarring role as agent of reality, testing the parties’ positions and trying to gain movement toward consensus and a result that both parties can live with.29

Alternatively, mediation can be useful if problems develop, or to resolve conflicts among the various professionals.30 Mosten explains the common-sense nature of this:  Often you and your collaborative partner can reach agreement without a mediator.  However, if trouble develops, you need to stress the mind-set: “It is not a choice between the collaborative process and litigation.  It is a choice between the current structure of the collaborative process that is not resulting in an agreement and the challenge of finding a workable new structure that will get the job done .”31 Therefore, rather than terminate the collaborative process, disband the collaborative professional team, and require the parties to obtain litigation counsel to ready themselves for a courthouse battle, you can build in mediation as the fail-safe logical next step if either or both parties are ready to terminate the collaborative process.32

Unbundling is a less familiar technique, but it can help trim the costs for a client who wants a collaborative divorce process:

In unbundling . . . the client is in charge of selecting one or several discrete lawyering tasks contained with the full-service package.  The client specifically provides for which services the attorney will provide, how extensive the services will be, and how to determine the communication and decision-making control between the client and the attorney.33

As Mosten describes it, attorneys outside of the collaborative context can separate out various services like advice, research, factual collection and investigation, drafting, negotiation, and court appearances.34 Those aspects that a client feels capable of undertaking alone, or with the lawyer as a background coach, can be removed from the formal scope of representation (and billing).

Interestingly, relatively little experimentation with unbundling has occurred as of yet within the collaborative divorce process.35 As Mosten puts it, to date “the growth of collaborative divorce has been among clients who otherwise can afford lawyers, and very few collaborative divorce professionals have focused on ways to penetrate the underserved and otherwise unrepresented market.”36

Conclusion

Mosten delivers a wealth of information and advice, most of which cannot be discussed in this short review.  Certainly Collaborative Divorce is growing quickly, and Mosten’s Handbook is essential reading for any family specialist, regardless of legal training.  Beyond that, any lawyer interested in the emerging paradigm shift in legal thinking and method that several writers have identified can get a rich sense of its attributes through Mosten’s work.  Finally, those who believe in the power of empathy, reason, and respectful communication–values that historically gave rise to the Rule of Law–can be encouraged from this book.  Even in one of life’s most difficult, intimate, and emotional settings–the dissolution of a family–Mosten shows that lawyers can play an important role in promoting peaceful and productive transitions.


* Forrest S. Mosten, Collaborative Divorce Handbook: Helping Families Without Going to Court (Jossey-Bass, 2009) [hereinafter Handbook].

** Louis and Herminone Brown Professor of Law, California Western School of Law.

3 Handbook, supra note 1, at 6, 7.

4 “Collaborative Law” is typically used as a synonym phrase for “Collaborative Divorce” because to date the model of collaborating lawyers representing different parties has been employed almost exclusively in divorce settings.  Theoretically, however, the attitudes and skills underpinning collaborative divorce could begin to be employed toward resolving legal issues beyond divorce or family law.

5 Handbook, supra note 1, at 8.

6 Id. at 22, 29.

7 Id. at 29, quoting Ronald D. Ousky & Stuart Webb, The Collaborative way to Divorce 6 (2006).

8 Id. at 14.

9 Id.

10 Id. at 15.

11 Id. at 14.

12 Id. at 21.

13 Id. at 29.

14 For a thorough and insightful analysis of the ethical implications of various permutations of disqualification clauses in Collaborative Agreements, see Scott R. Peppet, The Ethics of Collaborative Law, 2008 J. Disp. Resol. 131 (2008).

15 Handbook., supra note 1, at 45, 46.

16 Id. at 140-145.

17 Id. at 129, 130.

18 Id. at 146-150.

19 Id.

20 Id. at 52-58.

21 Id. at 64.

22 Id.

23 Id. at 147.

24 Id.

25 Id. at 59-77.

26 Id. at 64.

27 Id. at 68.

28 Id.

29 Id. at 74.

30 Id. at 75-76.

31 Id. at 75.

32 Id.

33 Id. at 59-60.

34 Id. at 61-62.

35 Id. at 64.

36 Id.

Originally published to HNLR Online on Dec. 28, 2009.

Communication 2.0: The Perils of Communicating Through Technology

Think of all the ways our lives have been made easier and more efficient with technology.  With just the click of a button (or a mouse), we have the world at our fingertips.  Communication alone has changed drastically over the past decade (for the better, right?).  Besides face-to-face meetings and phone calls, we have email, instant messaging (IM), text messaging, eNewsletters, blogs, list-servs, online forums and threads, virtual reality, webcasts and webinars (and more that I’m not aware of, I’m sure) that enable us to keep in touch.  Just a short time ago our primitive ancestors communicated via fax, courier and (gasp!) snail mail.  Life really has gotten easier.

Or has it?

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