The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution is intended as a resource for students, teachers and practitioners in fields relating to the reduction and elimination of conflict. It desires to be a free, yet valuable, source of information to aid anyone trying to work toward a less violent and more cooperative world.

The Conflict Within: The Interpersonal Conflict Between Netanyahu and Arafat

Military Intervention in Lesotho: Perspectives on Operation Boleas and Beyond

Graduate Studies in Dispute Resolution: A Delphi Study of the Field's Present and Future

Integrating Buddhist Philosophy and Peacemaking Theory: Further Thought for Development

Women, the Bridge and the Media: Correspondence of Ursula Oswald Spring and Ada Aharoni

An OJPCR interview with Erin McCandless and Eric Abitbol, Co-Editors of Cantilevers

Review: Basic Skills for New Mediators and Basic Skills for New Arbitrators

OJPCR: The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution

Basic Skills for the New Arbitrator

Basic Skills for the New Mediator

By Allan H. Goodman

Solomon Publishing

P.O. Box 2124

Rockville, MD 20847-2124

It is important to evaluate these books in the context in which they were intended. The Basic Skills books are not lengthy explanations of conflict resolution theory. They are not philosophical or academic investigations into the processes or implications of arbitration and mediation. They do contain, however, the information one experienced arbitrator and mediator believes to be most relevant to a new arbitrator or mediator, and as such provide a valuable resource to read, keep, and consult on the questions that arise in the day-to-day life of an arbitrator or mediator.

Goodman chose to format his book as a series of the most common questions he has been asked as a dispute resolution trainer, 100 in each book. (The questions, but not the answers, are listed on the Solomon Publishing website). The questions in both books are organized into chronological categories, from the process and the role of the arbitrator/mediator through the hearing(s) and decision/settlement to getting paid.

One of Goodman's skills is the ability to answer a question with the correct amount of information. For example, the question "What is the goal of mediation?" merits a short, clear statement, but "What information do I disclose?" (Relating to qualifications and conflicts of interest) is answered in a more subtle two-page analysis which includes illustrative examples.

Goodman deals not only with the procedural issues, but also those which relate to technique and success, such as "How do I establish authority?" He has also included useful appendices in each volume. The Arbitration book contains examples of four basic necessary forms: a request for a preliminary conference, a prehearing order, a subpoena, and an arbitration award. The Mediation book includes three sections: a copy of an example settlement, an outline of the mediation process, and a short article on the rules of evidence.

Goodman's background is in law and this is evident in the approach he takes to arbitration and mediation. The processes and procedures explained in both books expect that a new arbitrator or mediator is working within a reasonably legalistic system, which may not be the case. For example, there are many arbitration programs that use a much more informal system where there is no set standard of evidence and subpoenas are rarely used. In this setting, even when attorneys are present, there are no "objections" or "discovery" in the sense described by Goodman. That said, there is still plenty of information which will be of use to arbitrators and mediators in any setting.

Basic Skills for the New Arbitrator and Basic Skills for the New Mediator provide a no-nonsense resource which will be valuable to an arbitrator or mediator long after he or she is "new." Both books answer many of the questions which are left out of dispute resolution training (don't miss "How do I get paid?") or those which went unasked due to the student's inexperience.

Tabula Rasa Institute

The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution is published by the Tabula Rasa Institute.

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