On May 1, 2013, CADRE hosted a free webinar with Prof. Richard Birke, Director, Willamette University Center for Dispute Resolution, The Mediator's Mind: Insights from Psychology and Neuroscience.


About the Webinar: Cognitive and behavioral psychology offer a treasure trove of insights into the ways negotiators and mediators resolve conflict. Now, neuroscience has added greatly to our understanding of the mind. Modern technology allows unprecedented access to the mechanisms of the brain as it considers information and makes decisions. This newfound ability to peer into the brain while it assimilates information, makes decisions, and evaluates offers has created unparalleled opportunities to advance our understanding of the reasons why some disputes settle and others do not, why some deals are made and some are not. From pictures of brains caught in the act of thinking and deciding, a new world of understanding has emerged.

In this webinar, award-winning author Professor Richard Birke helps illuminate ways of using neuroscience and psychology to improve our decision-making and better understand reasons why our clients, partners, opponents and colleagues think and act the way they do. This webinar is practical and theoretical, informative and interactive, as he helps us understand why it can be difficult to get someone to change their mind, how best to persuade others, how the brain can be lured into accepting or rejecting an offer based on how the offer was phrased, how to recognize and avoid traps associated with formulating or evaluating proposals, and more.

About the Presenter: Professor Richard Birke has taught dispute resolution for more than 15 years, starting his career at Stanford University and coming to Willamette University College of Law in 1993 to teach and direct the Center for Dispute Resolution (CDR). Under his leadership, the CDR has enjoyed high national ranking among academic dispute resolution centers in the United States. He is an award-winning author in the field of dispute resolution, and he has been deeply involved in the practice of ADR.

Professor Birke was a member of the Quality Assurance Team for the largest civil rights settlement in United States history (Glickman v. Pigman). He trained the neutrals for the appellate settlement programs at the Oregon Court of Appeals, and the First and Second Districts in California (San Francisco and Los Angeles). He continues to serve as a consultant and mediator for those programs. He has mediated many multi-party complex cases, including a 30-party land dispute over 150 acres of waterfront property in Mendocino, Calif., the relocation of the Cascade Head Trailhead and the creation of the Opal Creek Wilderness Area. In addition, he served as mediator in an $800 million dispute between a national railroad and an oil company and assisted with the process design aspects of an effort by a consortium of Oregon organizations to reform the state’s tax structure.

Professor Birke has trained hundreds of professionals from the fields of business, law, medicine and other disciplines in negotiation, mediation, dispute resolution, trial practice, risk analysis and related fields. He has lectured and taught in family law, criminal law, environmental law, commercial law and banking law. He has trained individuals from a prestigious list of firms and organizations, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Nike, Mentor Graphics, Hewlett-Packard, Texaco, Intel, the Oregon Department of Justice, the Attorney Generals' Offices of Washington and Texas, the Arthur Andersen Consulting Group, the American Bar Association, the Oregon Court of Appeals, the First District Court of Appeal in California, and many of the largest law firms in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland. Additionally, Professor Birke has taught or lectured at Harvard University, Stanford University, Northwestern University in Chicago, Hamline University, the University of Oregon, the University of Washington, the University of Chicago and Duke University.