Israel Reflections 2017–Trust is Optional–Last Blog of the Trip!

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MOty Cristal stands in front of a classroom of students and lectures.Speaker Moty Cristal is always one of the student favorites and, frankly, I never know what he is going to do.  Last time, he led us in an exercise learning about coalitions.  This time, Moty focused on the lessons from his upcoming book chapter in the Negotiator’s Desk Reference regarding negotiation in low-to-no trust environments.  As usual, the students loved him!  Here is student James Wold’s assessment.

The most memorable speaker I found in Israel was one of the last ones we had during our week. Moty Cristal is one of Israel’s leading negotiation experts and I knew it would be an interesting discussion from the moment he called himself a prac-ademic (a play on practictioner and academic). He noted that he is not exactly a practitioner, nor a pure academic in the field of negotiation. What he is, however, is undeniably brilliant and fascinating. In many ways, he tied up a lot of the issues that we were dealing with on the trip, such as conflict resolution. I find myself wanting to learn so much more from and about him.

The portion of the one-hour discussion (it was anything but a lecture) that got me to stand up and take notice was his statement that trust is not a prerequisite to negotiation and that respect of the process and freedom to hate were important. While respecting the process is something I’ve heard before, the freedom to hate aspect was a sharp departure from most of what I’ve learned regarding negotiation. In most of my learnings, it emphasized gaining the trust of the other side is vital in starting a negotiation. Although it was perhaps a bit counterintuitive, the lesson I took away on freedom to hate is that neither side must be friends at the end of the day to make a deal work, especially when resolving a conflict. Moty’s entire presentation style and infectious energy kept me engaged from beginning to end. Read more »




Israel Reflections 2017-The Case Of The Curious Citizenship (East Jerusalem)

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Our visit with Riman Barakat, a former Marquette Fulbright scholar who has worked in many different Palestinian-Israeli peacebuilding NGO’s is always a highlight of the trip.  Student Adrianna Hromadka reflects on the questions and answers of her talk.

East Jerusalem offers a unique type of citizenship. After 1948, East Jerusalem was not included in the Israeli held territory. However, following the Group of Marquette Law students and others on Israel tripSix-day War, Israel extended permanent Israeli residency to Arabs that were then living in Jerusalem. Others not then residing in Jerusalem were not extended the same right of residency. Today, East Jerusalem serves as the capital of the Palestinian territory. While all of the territory’s citizens have Israeli residency, only a small percentage of East Jerusalemites have Israeli citizenship. Without Israeli citizenship, residents can only vote in municipal elections. Additionally, East Jerusalemites can lose their right of residency if they live abroad for more than seven years.

On our fourth day of the trip we got to dive deeper into the complexity of East Jerusalem. We had the opportunity to have a discussion with Riman Barakat, the CEO of Experience Palestine and a social activist. Barakat is an East Jerusalem citizen that has played a significant role in the peace movement in the East Jerusalem community. Barakat spoke about the importance of building bridges between the different communities for the betterment of Jerusalem as a whole. Read more »




Israel Reflections 2017–Old Gesher (the Crossing into Jordan)

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View of stone bridge at Israeli settlement "Old Gesher," located on the Jordan River.This trip we added a few new places and this was one of them.  As student Jessica Lothman reflects in this post, this particular bridge was filled with history, symbolism, and hope.

 

Bridging Time and Space: The Gravity of Old Gesher

Einstein put forth his theory of relativity in 1915 having determined that massive objects cause a distortion in space and time—this force is felt as gravity. Traveling through two-thousand years of history in eight days exerted its own gravitational force, with each speaker and landmark along our route from Jerusalem to the ancient Jaffa port in Tel Aviv pulling and pushing my perspective on conflict resolution in the context of Israel. Reflecting on our visit to Old Gesher—a place ripe with symbolism and metaphor—provides a snapshot of how the themes of relativity and gravity wove throughout our journey, and the course of human events in Israel and the Middle East.

We stopped at Old Gesher as twilight fell over the valley of the Jordan River on our way to Tiberius. Standing on the grounds, we could see the fence demarcating the border between Jordan and Israel near the confluence of the Jordan and Yarmuk rivers, as well as the standing remains of three historic bridges (gesher is Hebrew for “bridge,” an obvious metaphor for conflict resolution). These bridges span not only vital terrain connecting the port city of Haifa to Jordan and Syria, but also epochs of strife-torn history from the Roman era to the Turkish era, and finally the British and modern eras.

It also is the site of a pre-Israeli state hydro-electric power station envisioned and orchestrated by “the old man from Naharayim,” Pinchas Ruttenberg in the late 1920’s This engineering feat operated for a short time providing electrical power throughout the region and serving as a symbol of cooperation between the early Zionists and the kingdom of Jordan. Jews manning the station built the only Kibbutz east of the Jordan. Prior to the Arab Legion attack on the compound during the 1948 War of Independence, Jordan took the unlikely step of alerting the people in the Kibbutz that danger was imminent, allowing all but the vital personnel to evacuate. 30 brave souls remained to protect the Kibbutz and power station, which was later destroyed during the war and was never to operate again—emblematic of the toll taken by armed conflict. Read more »




Israel Reflections 2017–The Truth(?) of Masada

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MULS group photo at the Masada in IsraelFrom student J.J. Moore, here is a reflection on how the story that is told depends on the storyteller.

I have always loved ruins. Ruins tell a story and bring an appreciation of the past. However, a forgotten aspect of ruins is the stories that surround them. The combination of beauty and history converge at the ruins of Masada. The utter beauty of the sight, whether it was the preserved ruins or the breathtaking views atop the rock cliff, brought me to a place of deep peace.

Let me provide a brief (Roman) summary of the siege of Masada. Following the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, roughly in 70 BCE, a small band of Jewish zealots maintained a stronghold atop the rock cliffs. The Romans surrounded Masada setting up camps, which are still preserved today, and built a siege ramp to break into the fortress. When the Jewish rebels realized that they would not be able to hold off any longer, they killed their families, and since Judaism prohibits suicide, drew lots to determine the final man to commit suicide. Additionally, the men destroyed everything except the food supplies to show the Romans that they could have withheld, but decided to choose death over slavery.

History is written by the victors, and Flavius Josephus was the only historian to detail the account of the siege of Masada. As with any story, there might be exaggerations or altering of the details. But, over time, more questions have been raised about this version.  Read more »




Gender and Negotiation–Prof. Schneider Takes the TED Stage

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TED talks can be a wonderful vehicle for academics to present their research in an accessible, neatly distilled way for a large audience. Our own Andrea Schneider has a new talk in the best TED tradition, explaining her fascinating work on gender and negotiation. Delivered at a recent TEDx event in Oshkosh, Andrea’s talk is entitled, “Women Don’t Negotiate and Other Similar Nonsense.” Congratulations, Andrea!




Marquette Teams Excel in Negotiation Competition

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Fordham National Basketball Negotiation Competition TeamI am delighted to report that two teams represented Marquette University Law School at the Fordham National Basketball Negotiation Competition in New York City this past weekend. Out of the 36 teams participating, the team of Vanessa Richmond and Gabriella Saenz advanced to the Quarterfinals. The team of Sean McCarthy and Brycen Breazeale advanced to the Finals, where the Team was awarded Second Place in a very close decision.  Congratulations to all!




My Negotiating Top Ten

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handshakeMy list is constantly evolving; however, these ten tips form the foundation of my negotiating strategy and approach.

10. Research. When a new deal comes my way, I do research on who is on the other side of the negotiations. If you are able to find some common ground or interests, you can use some piece of information to start the negotiations in a non-adversarial manner. Knowing something about an alma mater, a law firm, or another part of their business can strike up an interesting aside before the heavy lifting starts.

9. What is your leverage? Look at the negotiation from the other side. It is great when one party can say, “take it or leave it” and really mean it; however, in my experience that is often a rarity. Strength in negotiation comes from knowing what may cause the other side to move on a position. Use that knowledge to best advance your position without being unnecessarily aggressive.
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Client Skills Board Students Excel in Competitions

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It was a busy weekend for the Marquette University Law School Clients Skills Board, the organization focused on building client-focused practice skills.

Cassie Van Gompel and Zach Geren finished 3rd, and Megan Marqusee and David Karp finished 4th, at the ABA Regional Representation in Mediation Competition at Quinnipiac School of Law on Saturday, February 27th. Cassie and Zach had initially tied for 2nd place, missing the semi-final round in the tiebreaker by less than 4 points.

Closer to home, 1st-year students Cody Hallowell, Keegan Girodo, Kelsey Schanke, and Ben Lucarelli beat out ten other 1L and 2L teams to win the Marquette University Law School Intramural Negotiation Competition, also on Saturday, February 27th. Local attorneys, many of them MULS alums, came to Eckstein Hall to judge the competition, providing great feedback to all the teams working to enhance their negotiation abilities.  Cody, Keegan, Kelsey, and Ben will represent Marquette in the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition next fall.




Israel Reflections 2015–Day 5: Haifa University and Sulha

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Our Wednesday morning in the north of Israel started with a visit to Yardenit, a site at the base of the Sea of Galilee where it meets the Jordan River near the biblical baptism site. Then we all headed to Haifa University to meet with Professors Orna Einy, Moti Mironi, and Tali Gal–each of whom work in an area of ADR–to learn about their research. After a quick lunch with them, we then turned our attention to a wonderful guest speaker they arranged for us. In a combination of theoretical, spiritual, and academic learning, the students had the great pleasure of hearing Elias Jabbour speak about “Sulha”, or the traditional peacemaking techniques used in Arab villages throughout the Middle East.

Student Molly Madonia retells two of Mr. Jabbour’s stories and recounts his methods to making Sulha:

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Israel Reflections 2015–Day Four: Dinner with Lawyers

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For dinner on our fourth night, we joined lawyers from the region around the Sea of Galilee for a meal and mingling.  Much thanks for the yummy food and company to the partnership between this region in Israel and Milwaukee that sets this up every year.   Many students built professional relationships during this meal, gleaned advice from practitioners and professors, and engaged in meaningful dialogue.

Student Lucas Bennewitz had a particularly thoughtful discussion:

 During our trip, we had dinner at a kibbutz in Tiberius with different Israeli attorneys practicing in different areas.  Both our stomach and our brains were stuffed to the brim that evening with both excellent food and lively discussions about Israeli law and politics.  While enjoying more hummus and rice than we could handle, we gained valuable insight on the nature of the Israeli legal system, heard some criticism from the Israeli lawyers about their current system, and compared the Israeli and the American legal systems.  We also discussed the role that legal internships play in the Israeli law school experience.  Read more »




Israel Reflections 2015 — Day Four: Har Bental

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After our visit at Tzfat, we took a short bus ride into the northern hills to visit Har Bental, a lookout point on the edge of the Golan Heights. With a view into Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, we could all see the importance of geography.

Student Nicholas Sinram shares his experience:

One of the many great experiences on our International Conflict Resolution trip to Israel was our visit to Har Bental.  In addition to the salmon bagel lunch and the Druze fig jam, our excursion to Har Bental gave us the chance to experience the beauty and importance of the region.  The visit to Har Bental also gave us the unique opportunity to learn more about the conflicts throughout the Middle East, the role of the international community in the region, and how this situation affects Israel specifically. golan-picture

We had the amazing luck of running into two U.N. observers. They explained the roles of U.N. peacekeepers and observers. Read more »




Israel Reflections 2015 – Day Four: Class at Tzfat

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On day four of the trip, we joined Professor Yael Efron’s class at the Tzfat Academic College School of Law for a joint negotiation class.  A close colleague of mine, Yael conducts her class similarly to ours here at Marquette and we were lucky enough to join her on her first day of the semester.   Spoiler alert–the students below describe the card game BARNGA–and I’m happy to share the materials if anyone would like.

Student Marcus Hirsch describes the exercise:

Upon entering the classroom, we were joined at tables by Israeli students, and began mingling.  After introductions, instructions for a negotiation exercise were distributed and a card game commenced.  The game required individual interpretations of the rules, and forbid verbal communication from the participants – in Hebrew or English.  This led to an even greater learning experience, even as it caused massive frustration, confusion, and uncontrollable fits of laughter from the participants.  In the debriefing after the game, the participants not only came to understand how miscommunication and lack of information can lead to problems, but learned that these problems are cross-cultural and cross-linguistic.

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