Weiss, Hammer & Hobbs: Beyond Positional Bargaining

May 4-5, 2012
19th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference

2.6 Beyond Positional Bargaining*

Jerome F. Weiss, Mediation Inc., Cleveland, OH
Susan Hammer, Dispute Resolution Services, Portland, OR
Karin Hobbs, Hobbs Mediation, Salt Lake City, UT
Moderator: Lee Jay Berman, Mediator, PMA Dispute Resolution, Los Angeles, CA

Friday, May 4, 2012 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Most mediations begin with the parties engaged in traditional positional bargaining. The disputants frequently start with a zero-sum mindset: one party wants to receive more, and the opposing party wants to give less. Lawyers often default to a distributive bargaining mindset, which can be a negative trap that locks the disputants into looking for wins and losses rather than resolution. This interactive panel will discuss how you can move the parties away from this traditional approach. The panel will provide a fresh look at positional bidding and will explore other more positive formats to transform zero-sum distributive bargaining to a more informative and productive negotiation.

*ADR Advocacy Track

Jerome F. Weiss

Jerome F. Weiss is President and founder of Mediation Inc (an Ohio corporation). He received his B.A. from Syracuse University and his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University. He has mediated a broad range of state and federal cases including tort, employment, complex litigation, commercial, securities, Constitutional, and death, injury and professional malpractice disputes. Jerry has been a member of the adjunct-faculty at Case Western Reserve University School of Law where he taught mediation and negotiation skills and where he is presently an Adjunct Professor, teaching the seminar in “Mediation Representation: Theory, Principle & Practice”. He is recognized as AV Preeminent (Martindale's highest rating) and is listed in Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers and was listed as a First Tier in ADR in U.S. News and World Report inaugural edition. He lectures frequently at educational events. He serves on various committees in several professional associations on both the local and national level, including service as a Trustee of the Cleveland Bar Association where he was Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. Jerry is a Distinguished Fellow in the International Academy of Mediators (IAM). He has written extensively on mediation-related topics and regularly consults on mediation and negotiation-related issues.

Susan Hammer

Susan Hammer has been named the 2012 Oregon Mediation "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers®. She is a Senior Fellow at the Willamette University Center for Dispute Resolution. Ms. Hammer is listed in the Top 25 Oregon Women Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America and Oregon Super Lawyers. She focuses on cases that are legally, factually and emotionally complex. Ms. Hammer was formerly a partner at Stoel Rives LLP, where she practiced law for 20 years. She is a Distinguished Fellow in the International Academy of Mediators, serves on the IAM Board of Directors and is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. She lives in Portland Oregon.

Karin S. Hobbs


Having mediated over 3,600 disputes over the past 14 years as a full time mediator, Ms. Hobbs is known for her ability to resolve emotionally charged and complex cases. Ms. Hobbs mediation practice includes complex insurance, property, personal injury, construction, employment and general commercial litigation, as well as complex family and probate cases. She has co-mediated a complex case involving 19 plaintiffs, and she has co-mediated a case involving 45 banks and 20 subcontractors. She has mediated numerous cases involving multiple parties and multiple lawsuits.

Ms. Hobbs is the Vice President of the International Academy of Mediators and is a member of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators. She has served on the Board of Bar Commissioners at the Utah State Bar and was the founding chair of the Section of Dispute Resolution of the Utah State Bar. In 2004, she received the Peter W. Billings, Sr. award for Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Ms. Hobbs co-authored an article entitled “Individualized Mediation Design” in the October 2007 issue of “For the Defense.” She also published an article entitled “How to Achieve the Best Results in Mediation” in the American Arbitration Association’s Handbook on Mediation (2010). Ms. Hobbs has taught hundreds of negotiation, mediation and mediation advocacy seminars to audiences such as the Utah State Bar, the Portland Oregon Bar Association, the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section, and the International Academy of Mediators. Ms. Hobbs has been named Best Lawyers in America, Mountain States Super Lawyers and Utah Legal Elite in the specialty of Alternative Dispute Resolution for the past several years.

Ms. Hobbs graduated from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney School of Law in 1985. Upon passing the bar exam, she prosecuted attorneys for ethical violations in her role as Bar Counsel for the Utah State Bar. In 1987, she was hired as the Honorable Pamela T. Greenwood’s first law clerk at the Utah Court of Appeals. She later became a Staff Attorney for the Utah Court of Appeals, working with 7 appellate court judges. In 1995, Ms. Hobbs assisted in creating the Appellate Mediation Office at the Utah Court of Appeals, and was later selected as the Chief Appellate Mediator for the Utah Court of Appeals in 1998. Hobbs mediated for the Utah Court of Appeals for 4 years, and, in 2001, opened her private mediation practice.

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