Gini Nelson\’s Engaging Conflicts

November 30, 2006

Engaging Conflicts Moving While Gini vBlogs To the vBlog Project From PodCamp West —

Filed under: Wikis and Podcasts and Blogs, Oh My! — Gini @ 5:59 am

Welcome to my “old” blog site! It will take me a little more time to finish the move from here to my new site at, so please read archives here, and go there for what’s new. This move will be completed shortly. In the meantime, PodCamp allowed me to do my first vBlog (video blog) — posted here at Geoff Sharp’s Mediation vBlog Project. All I can say about PodCamp and the people I met and experiences I had there, is, well, — wikis and podcasts and blogs, oh my!


November 28, 2006

Dispute Resolution and the Hierarchy of Legal Scholarship, #4 –

Filed under: Uncategorized — Gini @ 3:38 am

The series continues with Jurisydynamic’s Jim Chen’s final response to J.B. Ruhl on evaluting legal scholarship.

J.B. asks, “what can law professors supply the world that top-100 law firm associates usually could not?” Reversing the question might generate some really embarrassing answers. The academy as a whole might not want to contemplate the number of law professors, including professors with tenure at very highly regarded law schools, who could not be entrusted to perform tasks asked of associates at top-tier law firms.

. . .

I agree that looking for value, whether defined as value added or value in the aggregate, is the proper pursuit.

Ally McBeal
Ally 1, Academia 0

. . .

Neither form nor purpose displaces societal impact as the proper gauge of scholarly merit.

Let me sum up. It is possible, at a minimum, to evaluate legal scholarship according to (1) the practical difficulty or intellectual beauty of its methodology, (2) its intended audience, (3) the value added by the scholar relative to the work of a nonscholarly legal professional, or (4) its overall value, either to a specialized field or to society at large. In other words, scholarship can be assessed, like law itself, according to its form, its intended purpose, or its actual effect. Because it’s hard to assess actual effects, lawyers and judges often use form and purpose as shortcuts. Unsurprisingly, legal academics do the same when evaluating their own work. But all parties, I suspect, would do well to pursue direct measures of the only criterion that counts: real-world impact.

Earlier posts in this series are here: post #1, post #2, and post #3.

November 27, 2006

Dispute Resolution and the Hierarchy of Legal Scholarship, #3 –

Filed under: Uncategorized — Gini @ 2:14 am

This continues the series on Jurisdynamic’s discussion of the hierarchy of legal scholarship.  For the earlier posts and my discussion of its relevance to dispute resolution, please see the earlier posts, #1 and #2.

In response to Jurisdynamic’s Jim Chen, J.B. Ruhl elaborates on his hierarchy.

the underlying rationale for the hierarchy is not cost of effort; rather it is the value added, using the average associate at a top law firm as the baseline. In other words, what can law professors supply the world that top-100 law firm associates usually could not.
. . .

This is why I put empirical work high on the list. Yes, empirical work is also costly, but it is the type of work that a good scholar, because of the nature of the job and the demands of that kind of work, will be in a better position to provide. One of the comments to my original post suggested that by “empirical work” I mean just compiling numbers. I should clarify that what I mean is (as suggested by another comment) empirical work that tests data against theory, the way real social scientists do it. The reason I put it higher on the list than theory work, therefore, is because it puts the theory to the test. High quality empirical work of this sort is costly, but it is valuable because it illuminates flaws and strengths of the theory work.

To be sure, I recognize that scholarship fitting any particular category will fall on a range of quality, and we might use the categories Jim suggested to differentiate. Excellent doctrinal work is more valuable than half-baked legal theory. I think of my list as defining a typology of legal scholarship based on what law professors can add in terms of value to legal development and understanding. It is, in that sense, only a starting point for evaluation of any particular piece of work. There have already been, in addition to Jim’s suggestions for different sets of criteria, and I am not holding mine out as the only one that has some usefulness by any means.

Please click on the link above to read Mr. Ruhl’s full post.

November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Treats –

Filed under: Tips, Treats, and Tools — Gini @ 4:29 pm

Happy Thanksgiving! Here are some links to explore, if you like:

Thanksgiving ala Ben and Jerry’s

NASA’s Thanksgiving Skies

Thanksgiving as researched by the staff at Plimoth Plantation of Plymouth, MA

Wikipedia’s take on Thanksgiving, including:

    • 1 Traditional celebration
      • 1.1 United States
      • 1.2 Canada
    • 2 History of Thanksgiving in North America
      • 2.1 Thanksgiving in the United States
        • 2.1.1 Pilgrims
        • 2.1.2 The Revolutionary War to Nationhood
        • 2.1.3 Lincoln and the Civil War
        • 2.1.4 F.D. Roosevelt to present
      • 2.2 Thanksgiving in Canada
    • 3 References
    • 4 See also
    • 5 External links
      • 5.1 Thanksgiving food links

November 20, 2006

mBlog Central Premiers With Top Mediation Blog Feeds In One Place! –

Filed under: Wikis and Podcasts and Blogs, Oh My! — Gini @ 4:29 am

New Zealand attorney mediator Geoff Sharpe has added mBlog Central to his mediation vBlog project (earlier discussed here). As he says:

Read the latest headlines from a selection of the most active and well read mediation blogs… all in one place!

Blog “feeds” are great ways to quickly and easily review the content of blogs — you can read the headlines, and click on them, to be taken directly to the post. Geoff currently has feeds for 11 mediation-related blogs and podcast, including my Engaging Conflicts.

Bravo, Geoff, and thank you!

November 19, 2006

Podcamp West – San Francisco, Day Two Includes Using New Media In Marketing, and Using Podcasting For Independent, Community-Rich Self-Expression –

Filed under: Wikis and Podcasts and Blogs, Oh My! — Gini @ 9:52 am

PodCamp continues. Yesterday’s program is here. I’m also on a panel today, on marketing using the new media, which I believe is one of the three most important professional or business uses of the internet. But I’m especially looking forward to this session, which highlights another important use:

Community Imperialism in DIY (Do It Yourself) Media & DIY Ethics (Panel) – Matthew Wayne Selznick, Eric Rice, Chris Heuer – The theme of the conversation would be to place podcasting in line as the latest means of independent, community-rich self-expression. While not denying or disparaging commercial possibilities for podcasting, The Panel will emphasize the community, DIY, and creative aspects of the media. The audience will be engaged by asking how they have contributed to (or been affected by) the podcasting community, and ask for ideas and suggestions on how the community can continue to feed itself while remaining accessible to new creators. The session will energize existing podcasters, inspire and encourage new podcasters, and remind the “how can I make money at this” podcasters that contributing to the community and strengthening the medium is just as important to their growth as subscriber numbers.

November 18, 2006

Podcamp West – San Francisco, Day One Includes Legal Issues In Podcasting –

Filed under: Wikis and Podcasts and Blogs, Oh My! — Gini @ 10:00 am

First, my apologies that I did not continue yesterday with #3 of the Dispute Resolution and the Hierarchy of Legal Scholarship series, as I had intended. For some reason, I thought I would do it before I left for Podcamp in San Francisco, where I now am, even though I had to get on the road to the airport by 5 a.m.! Enough said? I’ll restart the series on Monday after Thanksgiving (here are the links to #1, and #2).

Podcamp starts today! There are some 250 registrants, and a full day planned. (And then it continues tomorrow!) If you are in the San Francisco area, and not yet registered, you can still make it!

Sessions spread over two days will focus on planning for content, content creation, content publishing and subscription models, production quality, tools, recording techniques, video composition, editing skills, audio & video post production techniques. Also included are sessions on Monetization of New Media formats, Podcasting and Video Blogging and impact of new media on business, Directly communicating with customers in Web 2.0 world, New Media marketing and public relations. The sessions are held in the format of a conversation with the people in the room participating actively.

There are 6 Main Hall/Track 1 Sessions following the Welcome and Keynote Panel, including Session 4, the panel I’m on discussing legal issues relating to podcasting:

TRACK 1 Main Hall – Saturday – November 18th.
Session 1 (12:00 – 12:40pm) Welcome to PodCampWest and Keynote Panel: Future of new Media
Session 2 (1:00 – 1:40pm) Up and running with Podcasting (Panel) – Sallie Goetsh, Kris Smith, Jerry Franklin, Kevin Crossman, Greg Albrecht – Topics discussed will include – What the heck is podcasting, How easy it is to get a podcast off the ground, Podcasting on a Mac, Web design for podcasting, Using open source tool Audacity for Production and Production techniques, What is syndication, RSS feeds and authenticated RSS feeds
Session 3 (2:00 – 2:40pm) Veteran Podcasters’ Share the Tips and Tricks/Do’s and Don’ts (Panel) – Joe Klein, Michael Geoghegan, Michael Butler, JaDonnelly, Vic Podcaster, Marcus Couch – Long-time veteran podcasters pass along their experience and wisdom. Topics include starting a podcast, promoting the podcast, building and maintaining a loyal listener base, keeping the content fresh and compelling and resisting premature “Podfade.” Learn from seasoned pros who have enjoyed ongoing online success.
Session 4 (3:00 – 3:40pm) Legal Issues related to Podcasting and Copyrights (Panel) – Colette Vogele, Micki Kimmel, Gini Nelson
Session 5 (4:00 – 4:40pm) Understanding the Voodoo of Greenscreen – Alex Lindsay – Learn what makes a difference and how to make the most of greenscreen video. Alex Lindsay from the Pixel Corps will walk you through the technical aspects of greenscreen removal while keeping the conversation easy for even beginners to understand.
  Alex Lindsay worked on “Star Wars: Episode 1” at Lucasfilm and then as part Industrial Light and Magic’s “Rebel Mac Unit”. He has since founded the Pixel Corps, Guild for Content Creators and dvGarage, a developer of tools and training for the visual effects community. The Pixel Corps has 18 podcasts in production or pre- production including Macbreak, Macbreak Weekly, The VFX Show, This Week in Media, and Inside the Black Box.
Session 6 (5:00 – 5:40 pm ) Greenscreen Shooting live demo – Alex Lindsay See an actual greenscreen shoot take place while Alex talks about the do’s and don’ts of sreenscreen set-up and shooting. You will learn how to light and manage a greenscreen shoot so that you can get the most out of whatever equipment you have. Alex will show both DV and high-end 1080p HD shooting.
PodCamp Party (6:00 – 8:00pm) After Party at Cafe Du Nord Bar for PodCampWest attendees only- Please ensure that you are pre-registered on Wiki ( By registering on Wiki you will automatically make it to the guest list.


November 16, 2006

Dispute Resolution and the Hierarchy of Legal Scholarship, #2 –

Filed under: Uncategorized — Gini @ 5:57 am

See the earlier post, #1 in this series for J. B. Ruhl’s typology of legal scholarship and my discussion of its relevance to dispute resolution. Jurisdynamic’s Jim Chen responds to J.R. Ruhl and the commentors by noting first that the list’s progression from blog posts to empirical scholarship appears to rest on an evaluation of the difficulty of the type of scholarship.

The problem, of course, is that the difficulty of a scholarly form or methodology has no necessary bearing on its quality. Stated more formally, my objection is this:

Value ≠ Cost


Words of valueA proper hierarchy of legal scholarship, therefore, demands attention not merely to its cost (as measured by the effort invested in it) but also to its value. What [a cited legal opinion used to make his point] said … makes sense here: “It is not theory but the impact of [scholarship] which counts.”

How then should we measure scholarly impact or value?

Mr. Chen proposes an alternate hierarchy based, as he puts it, “loosely on the value ascribed to legal scholarship by its potential audiences:

1. Self-referential scholarship
2. Scholarship solely of interest to other law professors
3. Scholarship solely of interest to law review editors
4. Scholarship addressing lawyers, judges, and legislators
5. Scholarship addressing fellow scientists
6. Scholarship that solves a significant social problem

J. B. Ruhl’s response to Mr. Chen will be discussed here, tomorrow, later.

November 14, 2006

Dispute Resolution and the Hierarchy of Legal Scholarship, #1 –

Filed under: Uncategorized — Gini @ 6:18 am

Although I don’t list it over in my “current reading list,” I keep an eye on Jurisdynamics, an interdisciplinary law blog hosted by Jim Chen, a University of Minnesota law professor. He maintains Jurisdynamics Essentials as part of the blog (you will find them in the right hand sidebar to the blog). These are “notable posts” about, e.g., the purpose and structure of the blog, relevant reading lists, and the hierarchies of legal scholarship. (Note: I’ll be revising my blog structure after this model in the near future.)

Part One of Hierarchies of Legal Scholarship is posted by Jurisdynamics contributor J.B. Ruhl, the Matthews & Hawkins Professor of Property at the Florida State University College of Law. I list his hierarchy (1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest) here but you need to read the post for his definitions and reasons. The comments to the post are equally interesting for showing some of the common criticisms of academic theory and research, and legal theory and research in particular. I’ll post throughout this week on the remaining Jurisdynamics Essentials relating to the hierarchy of legal scholarship, as well as on a recent essay published in the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities.

The relevance to dispute resolution is this: there’s a strong and growing critique of the quality of the dispute resolution field’s “scholarship” (or relative lack thereof). There are also questions about whether, or how, to “professionalize” the field, which include consideration of the need for continuous improvement in everyday understanding of the intellectual basis of the field, which is “wide, multidisciplinary, and deep,” a conclusion of the Broad Field project, a national project headed by CONVENOR’s Christopher Honeyman and generously funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. (Note: Chris Honeyman will be interviewed later this winter in Engaging Conflicts Today about that project and its culmination in the recently published The Negotiator’s Fieldbook.)

For now, J.B. Ruhl’s list:

1 – Publication of what are essentially blog posts with footnotes
2 – Doctrinal review of the state of the law
3 – Doctrinal study of interesting questions of law
4 – Doctrinal synthesis of developments in law
5 – Normative policy analysis of law
6 – Normative policy analysis of law with substantial reform proposals
7 – Legal theory
8 – “Law and” interdisciplinary studies
9 – Empirical study of legal institutions
10 – Empirical study of law’s impact on society


November 9, 2006

Web Science Includes the Social Impacts of Web 2.0

A Thinking Ethics post from Nov. 6:

Web science

MIT and the University of Southampton, UK, are launching the new field of Web Science. The research will guide the future design and use of the world wide web. Tim Berners-Lee says the web is full of blogs that are inaccurate, defamatory and have uncheckable information. This new program is aimed at adding intelligence to the web, and will cover things like trust, responsibility, empathy, and privacy. It looks like Web 2.0 will be kinder and gentler. more

The link goes to a New York Times article:

Web science, the researchers say, has social and engineering dimensions. It extends well beyond traditional computer science, they say, to include the emerging research in social networks and the social sciences that is being used to study how people behave on the Web.


Web science represents “a pretty big next step in the evolution of information,” said Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, who is a computer scientist. This kind of research, Schmidt added, is “likely to have a lot of influence on the next generation of researchers, scientists and, most importantly, the next generation of entrepreneurs who will build new companies from this.”

Web science is related to another emerging interdisciplinary field called services science. This is the study of how to use computing, collaborative networks and knowledge in disciplines ranging from economics to anthropology to lift productivity and develop new products in the services sector, which represents about three-fourths of the United States economy. Services science research is being supported by technology companies like I.B.M., Accenture and Hewlett-Packard, and by the National Science Foundation.


Ben Shneiderman, a professor at the University of Maryland, said Web science was a promising idea. “Computer science is at a turning point, and it has to go beyond algorithms and understand the social dynamics of issues like trust, responsibility, empathy and privacy in this vast networked space,” Shneiderman said. “The technologists and companies that understand those issues will be far more likely to succeed in expanding their markets and enlarging their audiences.”


November 8, 2006

Podcamp West – San Francisco — Not Just For Bloggers, Podcasters, and Video Bloggers (Vloggers)

It’s for everyone who wants to understand the new media better. I just checked – 128 registrants so far for Podcamp West – San Francisco, November 18 – 19, 2006. Are you coming? It’s an UnConference:

The power of an UnConference is you get FREE access to ideas, thoughts, best practices, and the true “wisdom of crowds” simply by registering and attending. An UnConference brings people with many different skill sets together with the spirit of sharing and learning. We’re audio and video podcasters, enthusiasts, businesspeople, hobbyists, musicians, promoters, marketers, and people who generally want to understand more about the new media space. We would like everyone to participate in some form or another and learn.

Here’s who should attend:

Podcamp West is for people interested in new media. Bloggers, Podcasters, Video Bloggers (Vloggers) are the people, who the conference serves best. If you’re interested in doing something with new media, you’ll want to attend. Are you an individual or school or library wondering how to incorporate podcasting into projects and community events? Are you a corporation type wondering how you should get involved in new Media? Are you a venture group thinking about whether to invest in this new media space? Come to PodCamp West, learn, share and you will have the answers.


Sessions spread over two days will focus on planning for content, content creation, content publishing and subscription models, production quality, tools, recording techniques, video composition, editing skills, audio & video post production techniques. Also included are sessions on Monetization of New Media formats, Podcasting and Video Blogging and impact of new media on business, Directly communicating with customers in Web 2.0 world, New Media marketing and public relations. The sessions are held in the format of a conversation with the people in the room participating actively.


Podcamp West is being held in San Francisco at the historic Swedish American Hall. The venue has access to a few large areas to assemble for sessions and areas earmarked for decompressing and for demo tables. The venue is very accessible by public transport – you can ride a train, take a bus, or just ride your bike. It’s VERY accessible to folks either coming from far away or locally. Parking around is generally paid parking or unless you get a lucky parking spot on the road.

It’s free to attend but you do have to register. I’ve linked to the registration site in this earlier post, or go here.
Hope to see you there!

November 6, 2006

Engaging Conflicts Today Interview With Ken Cloke

Today’s issue of Engaging Conflicts Today includes the conclusion of Ken Cloke’s interview, and an excerpt of my book review of his new book, The Crossroads of Conflict: A Journey Into the Heart Of Dispute Resolution. The review is being published in full today in the Colorado Council of Mediators November newsletter, and is pending publication in the Peer Bulletin, a monthly newsletter for Peer Resources Network members. If you would like to get both parts of Ken’s interview, and aren’t already a subscriber to Engaging Conflicts Today, please do two things: subscribe to the newsletter, and send an email with “Cloke” in the subject line to You can subscribe through the box provided in the sidebar on the right!

November 3, 2006

Free Ethics Resources Online —

Filed under: Ethics — Gini @ 5:51 am

Sample offerings in ethics from around the blogosphere this Friday morning:

Convenor Conflict Management page on Ethics In Dispute Resolution

Program On Negotiation at Harvard Law School’s online directory of free ethics-related downloads

November 2, 2006

Using Emotions As You Negotiate Makes For More Effective Negotiations

Filed under: Tips, Treats, and Tools — Gini @ 4:38 am

Negotiator Roger Fisher and psychologist Daniel Shapiro last year published Beyond Reason: Using Emotion As You Negotiate, from the Harvard Negotiation Project. They offer free resources online about the book’s principles, i.e., that there are five core concerns that stimulate emotion: autonomy, affiliation, status, appreciation (the one perhaps underlying everything else), and role (is it satisfying?). Most practically, they recommend and provide a free online emotions preparation tool to take before your next conflict or mediation.

Here, too, are some free online interviews with the authors:

at Negotiating Tip of the Week
at Legal Talk Network

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