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Here are just some of the comments that members of the legal profession from different parts of the world wrote about the article in various LinkedIn groups:
An important aspect of understanding a case is to fully appreciate the validity of the arguments of the opposing side…. If one can illustrate one’s perspective convincingly then there is an increased likelihood that the opposing side will recognize this.
Radiologist and Forensic Medical Expert, Connecticut, graduate of Yale University School of Medicine
Very interesting article, Ben. Not sure though about squaring the concepts of justice with the idea of the adversarial system.
I can’t see that we’ll ever not need adversarial processes. …you cannot know how good a lawyer I have or whether I can cloud the facts or appeal to psychological processes going on in the adjudicator’s mind (we’re from the same background; he likes my face and not yours etc etc). It’s a bit like boxing I suppose. You might want to make it a clean sporting affair, but you can’t be certain I won’t hurt you that way so you apply all the force you can. Doesn’t this militate against the idea of aiming at ‘justice and no further’?
Like I said, I can clearly see the need for adversarial processes. They provide redress for those issues where communication cannot – racism; violence etc etc. … I did like your article though. It highlights the difficulties and challenges of advocacy in the adversarial system and it is certainly worthwhile trying to get advocates to think about integrative negotiation in their work, rather than simply winning at all costs.
Director of Dispute Interventions, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Ben, although I take issue with the use of the terms “fairness” and “justice” for reasons I have written about in the past, I do think that you made a very valid and compelling argument. “Winning” and getting the best result are not necessarily one and the same. I dare say that in child custody battles, is it really necessary to falsely describe the other parent as being unfit? Obviously, there will be times in which a parent is unfit. However, not every parent involved in a child custody dispute is unfit and yet the pleadings filed invariably describe them in such a manner. I have not found such a character assassination necessary and you cannot unring the bell. Furthermore, people frequently mean well, even though their method is ineffective or counterproductive. Are we better off saying the other party is a bad parent — shaming them, or explaining that although they love their child(ren), their parenting skills could use some improvement?
Family Law Attorney, Mediator, Author, Lecturer, Keynote Speaker, Los Angeles, USA
Thank you for your article. An incredibly insightful approach which, if done honestly and effectively, would benefit all parties. These are excellent principles which could, and should, be applied to life in general.
Medical Litigation Consultant, Florida
Not the easy path, or necessarily understood by all in the industry. Thank you for reminding us of the “real” golden rule.
Forensic Architect, Chicago
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