Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy have built a podcast empire on being wholesome good guys. They come off to their fans as three brothers who are down-to-Earth, goofy, and will never do anything to hurt people. This has connected with podcast listeners worldwide, helping them build a massive fan base.
But at some point, businesspeople and celebrities make mistakes. For the McElroys, this mistake has come in the form of them trying to find ways to make money off the success of their podcasts. Prior to 2018, the McElroys had sold merch for their podcasts, gone on tours to do live recordings of podcasts, and had a brief TV adaptation of the podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me” on the failed streaming platform Seeso, which was owned by NBCUniversal.
Then came the graphic novel adaptation of “The Adventure Zone,” which shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller’s list. The graphic novel, while illustrated by Casey Pietsch, features a gallery of fan art at the back of every volume. Given the relationship the McElroys have with their fans, it seems reasonable they would pay tribute to the fans and the artwork they create by including a gallery of artwork tied to the events of that volume.
This fan art gallery has become the center of a bit of controversy in recent weeks. Continue reading “How to Have Restrictive Contracts and Still Be “The Good Guys””
In what seems to be the theme for this Spring 2020 Semester, we made a change in this year’s spring break trip. Instead of heading to Israel, our traditional trip for the last decade, a group of 30 students two faculty, and myself headed to Ireland and Northern Ireland for a look at Comparative Conflict Resolution. For about 10 of the students, the trip was a compliment to last year’s Israel / Palestine experience, while for many others, this was a trip of firsts.
I should note off the bat that this was a first for all of us to come home to this uncertainty and new normal. We left in early March worried about small outbreaks and came home to quarantines, home isolation and remote classes. In the vein of keeping us thinking about interesting things, though, I wanted to get the blogs going and share reflections from the students. Continue reading “Ireland Reflections 2020”
Hi all–I talked about this at the ABA meeting resource share but also wanted to blog about this in a little more detail. Apologies for the length–do reach out if you are interested in learning more and I’d be happy to walk you through what I did. In short, this was totally worth it and I felt like the class organization and teamwork reflected exactly what we are trying to achieve. Let me explain:
Team-Based Learning, or TBL, is a concept that I first learned that about in an article by Melissa Weresh applying TBL in the legal writing classroom. After reading Weresh’s article, I thought it would be an interesting concept to incorporate in my Alternative Dispute Resolution course. The ability for students to work together in groups is something that I have done for years, but this added a different flavor to it as the groups were for the entire semester—allowing for developing chemistry and comfort with working with the same group members for an extended period of time (much like they will once they graduate.)
Up to this last year, I would teach the ADR course in three sections (1) negotiation, (2) mediation, and (3) arbitration. Three quizzes for each section acted as “mini-capstones” to end a section. This both allowed for a more focused assessment on the content area and a clear division between the material for the students. But, I felt like students crammed for the one-time quiz as opposed to reading throughout the semester. Additionally, taking a whole class period to quiz the students and then time to review the quiz in the next class felt like too much time devoted to assessment versus learning.
So, I decided to try the TBL ideology. Continue reading “Team Based Learning in ADR”
On Sunday afternoon, we headed to the West Bank aka Palestine, and again had an amazing new experience for me. It was also pretty impactful for the students as you will read below. We had with us for the entire afternoon, the very talented Riman Barakat, a Fulbright scholar who completed her studies at Marquette and perennial speaker to our group. As a native of East Jerusalem, Riman also serves as a Director for East Jerusalem and Palestinian Relations for Jerusalem Season of Culture. Continue reading “Israel Reflections 2019–A Visit to Palestine”
On Day 2 of our magical trip to Israel we visited Masada and the Dead Sea. As student Alexander Hensley put it “[It] was the perfect way to kick off this trip.” (Let me note to all travelers, a day in the sun outside is quintessential jetlag recovery!)
The story of Masada is one that flies under the radar for many non-Jewish people but is fascinating to learn its history. The isolated plateau that is Masada has a history of being a fortress, built into a palace by Herod and then used as the last holdout by the Jews fighting the Romans in 70 A.D. Today it is one of Israel’s largest tourist attractions not only for its history but the beauty of it rising up in the desert. Alex Hensley “absolutely loved standing over the Dead Sea and looking down at the ramp that the Romans built.” Our tour guide Yoav expertly guided the group across the fortress in record time. As student Cole Altman so aptly stated “To be able to share its beauty and joy with the entire group was absolutely incredible.”
We then headed toward the Dead Sea to float. Many of the students decided to “farm” the mineral rich mud to rub all over their bodies. The mud makes your skin extremely smooth and floating was definitely a highlight of the trip for many students.
After a rest, we then started our more academic visits on Saturday evening. We heard from Dr. Alick Isaacs who is the Co-director of Siach Shalom (translated as Talking Peace). This is an organization that works to create dialog about peace using religion rather than arguing to take the religion out of the conflict and tries to include and welcome religious leaders who have been dissenting voice against previous peace efforts inside Israel. Dr. Isaacs is the author of A Prophetic Peace: Judaism, Religion, and Politics which recounts his experience as a combat soldier in the Second Lebanon War. Dr. Issacs’ talk included snippets of how he made “Aliyah” (The immigration process for Jew’s to move to Israel) after dealing with anti-Semitism in England growing up, and discussed Judaism as an ethnic identity. (Here is a link to a talk he gave several years ago) Student Van Donkersgoed explained that hearing Dr. Isaacs speak “Helped form the context for much of the trip, and also helped clarify my perception of Jewish culture and the State of Israel.”
Cross-posted at Indisputably.org
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. Continue reading “Israel Reflections 2017–Trust is Optional–Last Blog of the Trip!”
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 Six-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. Continue reading “Israel Reflections 2017-The Case Of The Curious Citizenship (East Jerusalem)”
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. Continue reading “Israel Reflections 2017–Old Gesher (the Crossing into Jordan)”
From 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. Continue reading “Israel Reflections 2017–The Truth(?) of Masada”
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!
I 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 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.
Continue reading “My Negotiating Top Ten”