Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bill Leads Seminars at National Judicial Education Program

Last week I was in the Washington, DC area giving two seminars to judges about managing high-conflict litigants in the courtroom. Unfortunately, judges are facing an increasing number of people who have little respect for the court, little cooperation with court procedures and are often unprepared and emotionally too upset to communicate the necessary information to the judge. My seminars focus on ways to calm people down so that they can focus on the straight information that is needed to decide their case.

High-conflict people appear to be increasing in society in general. Many appear to have personality disorders, which means: 1) they lack self-awareness of how they create their own problems and 2) they don’t change their negative interpersonal behavior. Perhaps 20% of the United States adult population appears to meet the criteria for these personality disorders, based on the largest study ever done. This increase is particularly obvious in our courts, where the presence of personality disorders may as high as 40%.

People’s expectations of judges are often quite unrealistic. They cannot know information other than what the parties tell them in the proper legal manner (“admissible evidence”). In many cases, people are in court today for personality- based reasons rather than legal issues, as driven by one or both parties. People feel extremely hurt, abandoned, insulted, dominated and ignored today, and many of them are willing to blame it all on another individual. People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) or narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have been identified as taking extreme view of the people around them. They “split” people into “all-good” or “all-bad” categories. They want relief and courts are where you go to deal with very bad people. Unfortunately, our courts cannot give a remedy for those types of feelings and treatment. In fact, the vast majority of cases get decided outside of court by agreement of the parties. However, parties who cannot agree and compromise are the ones mostly likely to appear again in court.

I am pleased and honored to give judges tips for managing their high-conflict cases.

High Conflict Institute provides training and consultations, as well and books, DVDs and CDs regarding dealing with High Conflict People (HCPs) in legal, workplace, educational, and healthcare disputes. Bill Eddy is the President of the High Conflict Institute and the author of "It's All Your Fault!", "Splitting", "BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Hostile Emails, Personal Attacks and Social Media Meltdowns" and "Don't Alienate the Kids!". He is an author, attorney, mediator, and therapist. Bill has presented seminars to attorneys, judges, mediators, ombudspersons, human resource professionals, employee assistance professionals, managers, and administrators in 25 states, several provinces in Canada, France, and Australia. For more information about High Conflict Institute, our seminars and consultations, Bill Eddy or to purchase a book, CD or DVD, visit: http://www.HighConflictInstitute.com

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