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Prof. Leonard Riskin to Speak at Alternative Dispute Resolution Workshop on Tuesday, October 2

Prof. Leonard Riskin to Speak at Alternative Dispute Resolution Workshop on Tuesday, October 2

Leonard L. Riskin, C.A. Leedy Professor of Law and director of the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, will deliver a talk as a part of the Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop on Tuesday, October 2, at 12:00 noon. It will be held in the faculty lounge and will be free and open to the public.

In a 1996 article, Riskin proposed a simple tool for understanding how mediators approach their work that has become one of the fundamental notions in the study of alternative dispute resolution. On his "Grid for the Perplexed," he defined two axes. The first, he said, described a mediator's approach to problem-definition and ran from narrow to broad; while the second was the mediator's view of his or her role and ran from evaluative to facilitative.

The terms "evaluative" and "facilitative," in particular, caught on and have become a part of how the field defines itself. An evaluative mediator will tend to make predictions about the outcome of a case in court and to actively propose agreements. A facilitative mediator, on the other hand, will try to help the parties reach their own agreement. Riskin's words have reappeared in hundreds of articles, training programs, and academic courses, and have been both accepted and criticized.

In his talk at YLS, "Toward A More Refined Understanding Of Mediation: Revisiting, Revising, And Reimagining 'The Grid,'" he will revisit this approach to the study of mediation. He writes that his "self-satisfied complacency" over the utility of the grid was shaken as he began to reevaluate it and the ways it has been used. He will share his concerns over how the grid has been employed and understood and will propose some revisions to the original terminology.

Riskin argues that "the 'facilitative-evaluative' debate and other issues raised by the grid have significant real world implications. They affect not only how mediation works and who mediates, but also mediators' self-identities."

To read more about the Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop, please see the article in "@YLS.".