Mediation Blog

Don't Fear the Holiday Cheer

The Holidays at the end of the year can be both joyful and stressful for many. Joyful as to the season's decorations, music, the gathering of family, and the excitement of children. Stressful in trying to meet deadlines and objectives associated with work, shopping, and traveling.

I would suggest there is a simple way to make this time of the year special for all. It only takes a simple change in perspective. This could be the greatest gift that you give yourself or someone else. Don't believe me? Try this simple thought experiment and let me know if it does not improve your outlook immediately.

All is Good

The Holiday season arrives at a magical time when the year ends and a new one begins. This provides an amazing opportunity to double up on two gifts you can give yourself. There is the gift of gratitude for all you have and what was accomplished over the past year. Then there is the gift of hope for the new year, a fresh start, additional goals, and new plans. This is a potent elixir, a booster shot if you, for happiness.

Gratitude and Hope

Gratitude is the antidote for negativity. It focuses on what you have while negativity focuses on what you do not have. Being thankful for your health, family, friends, possessions, and work really puts things in perspective. And with this perspective, you can see that not all is bad.

Hope on the other hand generates excitement, planning, and action. Just think about any time you start something new and how you feel. Combining gratitude with hope is a sure way to cure any Holiday doldrums. Now imagine applying this secret sauce as much as possible in your life on a daily basis. Why not try it out, what do you have to lose?

Happy Holidays and New Year

I am so grateful for being able to help my fellow lawyers resolve disputes. It is both an honor and privilege to be of service. There is no greater joy than seeing a conflict resolved and the parties being able to have more peace and closure in their lives. My hope is to continue this work and with your help, to improve my skills and the process as we do this together. I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous Holiday and New Year!

Meaningful Mediation is Ethical, Mindful, and Strategic

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A Unique Event

I am looking forward to having a great conversation on November 2, 2022, with two mindfulness experts on how mindfulness can help resolve conflict. This unique CLE webinar by the ADR Section of The Florida Bar will be a panel discussion between a lawyer/mediator, a neurologist, and a Buddhist monk.

I suspect this may be the very first time such a discussion has been presented as a continuing legal education program. By tuning in, you will have the opportunity to see what we all have in common and gain some additional tools that can help you resolve disputes.

You will receive 1.0 hour of CLE credit as well as 1.0 hour that counts towards the requirements for mental health. The great news is that if you register now, you will have access to the recording of the program in case you have a schedule conflict that day.

Solve the People and Solve the Problem

This program follows my dispute resolution mantra that if you solve the people first, you will have a better chance at solving the problem. As lawyers, we are in the people business. That simply means our business is all about people and their interactions. Applying the law to people and their interactions can actually be the easy part. The harder task is dealing with the puzzle of people, their beliefs, biases, motivations, and reactions.

The skills and tools that a lawyer uses for litigation are very different than those that should be used for dispute resolution and mediation. I think we can agree that bringing a hammer to fix a computer is not the right choice. Just the same, bringing a hammer to mediation can also be counter-productive. Perhaps it is time to choose another tool.

Internal and External Conflict

Conflict has both internal and external components. Your internal conflict, anxiety, stress, and day-to-day feelings can have an impact on how you approach external conflict. Likewise, external conflict, dealing with others and problems, can cause or impact your internal conflict.

Most of the time we ignore the connection between internal conflict and external conflict. The traditional focus is only on external conflict. However, if we appreciate this connection and work on both the internal and external, we can have a better approach to solving both. This is where mindfulness comes in as a meditation tool.

Mindfulness as a Mediation Tool

Mindfulness as a mediation tool is really all about expanding your perspective. This is not about meditation during mediation, candles, or incense. Rather this is about how to mindfully observe yourself and others in a curious and non-judgmental way. Mindfulness reduces our internal and external critic so we can make better choices without emotions getting in the way.

With mindfulness, we can see the bigger picture and more options, all valuable when trying to find creative solutions to problems. Likewise, with mindfulness, we can build better connections with people that will help build rapport and assist in collaborative problem-solving.

Seeing additional options, using creativity, building rapport, and better collaboration are all invaluable tools for resolving disputes. If you want to learn more, tune in to the upcoming program!

Less conflict, more resolution.

Patrick Russell

Miami Florida Mediator

Meaningful Mediation is Ethical, Mindful, and Strategic

meaningful mediation

#mediation #adr #disputeresolution #mediationtips

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In honor of Mediation Week, which is on the third week of October, members of The Florida Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Section are hosting “Mediation Mixers” at various locations around the state. The purpose of these events is to provide information about ADR Section membership, and encourage networking and camaraderie among lawyers, litigators, and fellow mediators.

Help Me Help You

In the end, I think we all can agree that whether you are a lawyer, litigator, or mediator, we are all in the dispute resolution business. That simply means we all seek the same thing, a resolution to conflict. We can all help each other resolve conflict better when we view ourselves as being on the same team and not as competitors. When we all adopt a mindset of "help me to help you", we all benefit as do the litigants and the legal system as a whole.

Building Rapport and Trust

One way of helping to adjust our mindset and to get ourselves out of our respective silos is to meet, talk, and see how much we actually have in common. When we build rapport and trust, we are better equipped to undertake a joint mission for solving problems and disputes. This is certainly one goal for the upcoming "Mediation Mixers".

Miami Mediation Social Mixer

I am helping to organize the Miami Mediation Mixer. I hope you will join us at the Miami event on October 20th from 5:30–8:30 PM, at American Social –Brickell, 690 SW 1st Ct., located right on the Miami River.

We’ll have complimentary appetizers and a cash bar, and valet parking is available onsite. Special thanks to our sponsors and hosts, Steven Chaneles and Salmon & Dulberg Dispute Resolution.

Space is limited, so please RSVP in advance by emailing me at

We hope to see you there.

Patrick Russell

Miami Florida Mediator

Meaningful Mediation is Ethical, Mindful, and Strategic

meaningful mediation

#mediation #adr #disputeresolution #mediationtips

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