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Commercial Mediation Part I: General Mediation and Negotiation Theory

(493 Ratings)

Produced on: February 20, 2015

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 65 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

Every building begins with a good architect and input from skilled engineers.   So, too, is the mediation process powerfully influenced by the vision, understanding and fundamental orientation of the mediator.


This first part of Mr. Baum's eight-part commercial mediation course opens by examining the position of mediation in the dispute resolution spectrum and considering the nature of conflict resolution.  We consider modes of coercion and freedom, processes of varying formality and informality, and degrees of autonomy or privileging of non-parties with evaluative and decision making authority.  We explore the nature of participatory processes, individual control, and the transformative nature of the mediation process.  Part I considers various views of the orientation, purpose, and role of the mediator and the nature and potential of the mediation process.  Mediator as facilitator, appropriateness of evaluation and direction, and a range of theories of mediation are considered, including: settlement master, facilitated negotiation, dialogue, understanding-based, transformative, Protean and skills-based models.  


Recognizing that mediators grease the wheels of parties' negotiations, Part I also provides an overview of Negotiation Theory and Skills.  We draw on contemporary insights from Fisher & Ury's "Getting to Yes" and other works from the Harvard Negotiation project as well as from time-honored wisdom traditions.  We also consider five classic modes of handling conflict and five core concerns that can trigger emotional reactions in mediation or negotiation.


Learning Objectives

I.    Understand mediation in the broader context of conflict resolution

II.   Develop a vision of mediation and its possibilities

III.  Comprehend the role of the mediator

IV.  Review core negotiation theory and skills

V.   Identify five conflict modes

VI.  Handle emotional triggers

VII. Foster a constructive negotiation



Simeon H. Baum

Resolve Mediation Services, Inc.

Simeon Baum, President of Resolve Mediation Services, Inc. (, has successfully mediated over 1,000 disputes. He has been active since 1992 as a neutral in dispute resolution, assuming the roles of mediator, neutral evaluator and arbitrator in a variety of cases, including the highly publicized mediation of the Studio Daniel Libeskind-Silverstein Properties dispute over architectural fees relating to the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, Trump’s $ 1 billion suit over the West Side Hudson River development, and Archie Comics’ shareholder/CEO dispute. He was selected for New York Magazine’s 2005 - 2014 “Best Lawyers” and “New York Super Lawyers” listings for ADR ( and Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” for ADR in New York for 2011 and 2014 ( for the International Who’s Who of Commercial Mediation Lawyers 2012-14.

An attorney, with 30 years’ experience as a litigator, Mr. Baum has served as a mediator or ADR neutral in a wide variety of matters involving claims concerning business disputes, financial services, securities industry disputes, reinsurance and insurance coverage, property damage and personal injury, malpractice, employment, ERISA benefits, accounting, civil rights, partnership, family business, real property, construction, surety bond defaults, unfair competition, fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy, intellectual property, 

Mr. Baum has a longstanding involvement in Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR"). He has served as a neutral for the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York Mediation Panels; New Jersey Superior Court, Civil Part, Statewide; Commercial Division, New York State Supreme Court, New York & Westchester Counties; U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern & Eastern Districts of New York; the New York Stock Exchange; National Association of Securities Dealers; the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and CPR, and National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN), among others. 

Mr. Baum’s peers have appointed him to many key posts: e.g., Member, ADR Advisory Group, Commercial Division, Supreme Court, New York County; ADR Advisory Group and Mediation Ethics Advisory Committee, N.Y. State Unified Court System. Founding Chair of the N.Y. State Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section, he was also subcommittee chair of the N.Y. State Bar Association’s ADR Committee; Legislative Tracking Subcommittee Chair of the ADR Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association; Charter Member, ABA Dispute Resolution Section Corporate Liaison Committee; President, Federal Bar Association’s SDNY Chapter, and Chair of the FBA’s national ADR Section. He is past Chair of the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) Committee on Arbitration and ADR. Besides serving on the NYCLA’s Committee on Committees, he is past Chair of the Joint Committee on Fee Dispute and Conciliation (of NYCLA, ABC NY, and Bronx County Bar Associations), and is on the Board of Governors, NYS Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program. He is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is a Director for the New York NADN panel. 

Mr. Baum has shared his enthusiasm for ADR through teaching, training, extensive writing and public speaking. He has taught ADR at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Development, and he teaches Negotiation, and Processes of Dispute Resolution (focusing on Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration) at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He developed and conducts 3-day programs training mediators for the Commercial Division, Supreme Court, New York, Queens, and Westchester Counties. He has been a panelist, presenter and facilitator for numerous programs on mediation, arbitration, and ADR for Judges, attorneys, and other professionals. Mr. Baum is a graduate of Colgate University and the Fordham University School of Law.


John M.

did not expect the philosophical, literary, or film references.

sosi v.

Good presentation. Clever use of human philosophy to help be better mediators.

Stephen K.

Great introduction to mediation and negotiation theory

James A.

I'm looking forward to the next segment

John H.

Well done

Brian G.


Michael D.


Tom H.

most excellent presentation

Elizabeth S.

Excellent overview to refresh and inspire.

Andrew P.

Very good. I look forward to the whole series!

Kelvin B.

Interesting perspective on how the presenter combined the philosophical with the legal in describing mediation.

Daniel L.

Excellent use of external sources!

Robert G.

great presentation

Judith Marie F.

This series is extremely well-done.

D. Larry G.

Simeon is great! Informative. Inspirational.

James F.

A challenging lecture because the flexible principles of mediation are counter-intuitive to the fight-or-lose mentality of litigators. Looking forward to the next lecture.

Dennis S.

Very enjoyable CLE program. Simeon Baum is a very talented speaker.

Sandra V.

This one was really good. I was impressed.

Merrick W.

excellent introduction to the topic.

William W.

Excellent presentation. Very useful practical suggestions.

Richard R.

interesting introduction to topic area

Diana K.

Fantastic! I loved his use of the Tao Te Ching.

Jennifer K.

I liked his "zen" ending :)

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