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Advanced Decision Making for Lawyers and Neutrals

Faculty: Bob Creo and Selina Shultz

Mediators facilitate the participants' decision-making processes as they work towards resolution. Clients expect that their lawyers are well equipped to make decisions regarding resolution of disputes. Traditional legal education and practice experience insufficiently trains lawyers to excel in judgment and decision making. Extensive research, including studies by the ABA Foundation and Randall Kiser, indicate that legal education inhibits sound decision making. Most lawyers are poor predictors of actual outcomes of trials. There is a science to decision making which is a teachable skill that can be learned and honed. This course gives participants a better understanding of the deciding process and teaches skills to make better decisions whether they are acting as attorneys, mediators, or advisors.

What you will learn:

  • Best practices to facilitate holistic decision making
  • Successful communication skills and methods
  • Psychological attributes of decision bias and error
  • Role of identity, ego, credibility, and reputation
  • Attributes of effective mediators
  • Patterns of behavior and habits that improve decision making
  • Myths, mirages, and magic of moving beyond impasse

Bob Creo is an internationally recognized mediator and arbitrator, as well as the cofounder of the International Academy of Mediators and Mediators Beyond Borders. His experience spans over 30 years including training business people and lawyers in the areas of mediation advocacy and decision making. Creo has served as a mediator and arbitrator since 1979 and has mediated/arbitrated cases in almost every area of the law. He has also worked with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics and the Office of Fair Employment Practices, as well as for Major League Baseball and the National Football League. He has spent much of his career developing and teaching mediators, arbitrators, and lawyers teaching credit courses at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Duquesne University School of Law (where he co-teaches the first law school credit course on attorney judgment and decision making), and Penn State. He has published extensively and currently writes for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) newsletter. He cocreated the Master Mediators Institute, which, in conjunction with well-known professors, developed courses at Duke and UCLA. Creo also codesigned the dispute resolution system for the Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh, numerous medical malpractice claims systems for major hospitals and insurers, and product liability and employment systems for Fortune 500 companies. He has worked internationally in England, Serbia, Italy, Poland, and Ukraine. Creo was also a Fulbright Scholar for the U.S. State Department.

Selina Shultz is a highly sought mediator and consultant in dispute resolution, who works with individuals and businesses. She has over 17 years of extensive mediation experience. Shultz currently serves as the codirector of CoralBridge Partner's Conflict Transformation Institute. In addition to her private mediation practice, she served for 13 years as a mediator for the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. She is currently on the approved mediator panels for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the EEOC, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. She is a popular lecturer and trainer in the area of dispute resolution and has worked with individuals and businesses to provide both basic and advanced trainings in mediation and conflict resolution skills. She is an adjunct professor at Duquesne University Law School, where she co-teaches the first law school credit course on attorney judgment and decision making. She has served as a leader in the field, most recently serving on the boards of both the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators and the Mediation Council of Western Pennsylvania, and helping to launch the Western District of Pennsylvania's Prisoners Civil Rights Mediation Pilot Program. She obtained her JD in 1993 from the University of Pittsburgh and her LLM in dispute resolution from the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University School of Law.