Dispute Resolution: Theo Brinek M.A., Mediator and Coach, and RA Bettina Knoetzl, Partner at KNOETZL and Accredited Mediator, co-lectured on Alternative Dispute Resolution in a 2.5 days training last week at the Austrian Lawyers Academy (“AWAK”)

The Co-Lecturers focused the training on the “Harvard Model” and its basic principles of alternative dispute resolution, introducing several ADR methods, such as “Mediation”, “Neutral Evaluation”, and “Mini Trial”. Theoretical input alternated with case-based, application exercises and was infused with reflection on the individual, professional activity, attitudes and values of the program’s participants. A significant part of the teaching program dealt with conflict management in highly escalated, complex, legal disputes and with techniques designed to foster communications to facilitate a consensus and/or an amicable resolution of the dispute. Questioning techniques and de-escalating intervention techniques were incorporated into the training through the vehicle of a mock mediation. One lawyer-participant commented: “I was unaware that mediation has such a clear structure or how important training of communication skills is. During our university education, our training is heavily focused on developing technical legal skills. Yet, soft skills and negotiation techniques are just as important to help an effective lawyer’s client to achieve optimal outcomes. The program was enlightening and enriching for my practice.”