Opening Doors to Resolution: A Mediation Podcast
Episode 14: The Supreme Episode

Episode 14: The Supreme Episode

March 31, 2021

The Supreme Court has only had seventeen men serve as Chief Justice. Chicago attorney Dan Cotter writes about all of them in The Chief Justices: The Seventeen Men of the Center Seat, Their Courts, and Their Times. While legal theory instructs lawyers to analyze the law and not the circumstances surrounding its creation, Cotter embraces an overall historical approach. Many Supreme Court justices have been defined by the landmark rulings they delivered. Cotter shows how some rulings, like Dre…

Episode 13: Winter is Coming

Episode 13: Winter is Coming

February 19, 2021

Steve discusses all aspects of mediation with fellow mediator, Winter Wheeler. The two discuss their transitions from experienced litigators to full-time mediators, including their mediation philosophies and building their practices. The two discuss mediation via Zoom, anti-bias standards for mediators and the importance of language and its impact on the legal system, focusing on the African-American vernacular. 

Episode 12: What Happens in Mediation Stays in Mediation . . . Right?

Episode 12: What Happens in Mediation Stays in Mediation . . . Right?

January 27, 2021

A bedrock principle for mediation is its confidentiality. Arguments made at mediation are typically not admissible in court. Nationally renowed mediator, Jeff Kichaven, has been virtually touring the country presenting a provocative theme: your mediation might not be confidential. Jeff tells Steve that whether a mediation is confidential is determined by the court hearing an attack on confidentiality and if it is a different forum from where the mediation took place, which Restatement that…

Episode 11: Acting like we have done this before. Advocacy via Zoom

Episode 11: Acting like we have done this before. Advocacy via Zoom

January 12, 2021

Old school football fans often complain about celebrations after touchdowns grumbling “act like you have been there before.” The COVID-19 pandemic has altered how the legal system administers justice. Seasoned trial attorneys who are poised and confident in front of judges and jurors are learning how to present evidence via Zoom. Lawyers are forced to act like they have been there before while navigating unchartered waters. As more and more arguments and trials are conducted via Zoom, t…

Judicial Prerogative: Wearing a Robe in the Time of COVID

Judicial Prerogative: Wearing a Robe in the Time of COVID

December 2, 2020

Steve talks with the Honorable Bryan Chapman, 18th Judicial Circuit Dupage County, Illinois. Judge Chapman is one of the few judges nationally who has rendered a decision in an insurance coverage case for COVID-19 business losses and he discusses the urgency, significance and his approach for overseeing such a nationally prominent case.

Judge Chapman discusses why he finds being a judge a fascinating and rewarding job and what he misses from his private practice days. Judge Chapman pro…

Episode 9: Why Humans are Poor Decision Makers: Meet the Cognitive Bias

Episode 9: Why Humans are Poor Decision Makers: Meet the Cognitive Bias

October 28, 2020

In order to survive the deluge of data and myriad of decisions we make every day, humans adopt short-cuts, or heuristics. Unfortunately, we often rely on flawed biases and stereotypes resulting in poor decisions. In an effort to make sense of it all Steve sits down with Shari Belitz, founder of Shari Belitz Communications. The two discuss how psychology impacts litigation and settlement. As a mediator, Steve discusses how it is important to encourage parties to slow down their thought proce…

Episode 8: What’s Going On Out There? A Chat with a National Trial Attorney

Episode 8: What’s Going On Out There? A Chat with a National Trial Attorney

October 6, 2020

Mediator Steve Schulwolf continues to delve into COVID-19's impact on the legal profession. Episode 7 featured professor Julia Simon-Kerr who discussed how COVID-19 presents opportunities for the legal system to improve its assumptions about credibility and demeanor. Episode 8 looks at what courts around the country are actually doing as Steve talks with a national trial attorney, Matt Fischer, about the pandemic's impact. Mr. Fischer suggests that trial lawyers need to throw out their old…

Episode 7: The Legend of Zorro: Can we Trust the Masked Man?

Episode 7: The Legend of Zorro: Can we Trust the Masked Man?

August 24, 2020

Episode 7: The Legend of Zorro – Can We Really Trust the Masked Man?

Mediator Steve Schulwolf and University of Connecticut School of Law professor Julia Simon-Kerr discuss the challenges and opportunities that COVID-19 presents the American legal system. As courts are preparing to reopen and conduct trials with COVID-19 protocols there is the need to balance safety and truth ascertaining considerations. Along these lines, Mr. Schulwolf asks the question of whether a masked witness can…

Episode 6:  Play Ball — Lessons from MLB negotiations in the time of COVID-19

Episode 6: Play Ball — Lessons from MLB negotiations in the time of COVID-19

July 13, 2020

COVID-19 continues to try to ruin the fun. Steve discusses the recent negotiations between MLB and the player's union with sportswriter, Jim Margolis. Jim outlines the points of contention between the two sides while Steve discusses how mediators try to resolve disputes, like attempting to create a win-win scenario.  The two discuss whether there will even be a season and how baseball and legal negotiations have been impacted by behavioral economics.  Play ball. 

Episode 5:  Unfinished Business —  Additional Viewpoints on COVID-19 Coverage Claims

Episode 5: Unfinished Business — Additional Viewpoints on COVID-19 Coverage Claims

June 9, 2020

Steve Schulwolf continues his discussions about insurance coverage for COVID-19 claims with Seth Lamden and Dan Litchfield. Mr. Lamden is a partner at the Chicago office of Neal Gerber Eisenberg and represents policyholders. Mr. Litchfield is a founding partner of the Litchfield Cavo in Chicago and has a national practice representing insurers. Messrs. Litchfield and Lamden were appearing in their personal capacity and not on behalf of their respective clients. Mr. Lamden suggested that…

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