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Dispute Resolution

Psychological factors in virtual hearings

When courts and tribunals made their emergency switch online, survival in the new technological environment was priority number one. But this change in our way of working raises other things for us to consider. What are the human impacts of virtual hearings? How do remote trials affect a judge or tribunal’s decision-making? What makes great advocacy online? How does testifying on video impact the perception and evaluation of witness evidence?   


This session covers the psychology at play during remote hearings and its impact on participants. Using research into cognitive, social and cyber psychology, this training explains how intelligent design can optimise your virtual experience. 


Topics include: 


  • Navigating the cognitive challenge of the online environment 

  • How to handle time zone effects and emotional factors 

  • Overcoming communication issues when social presence is absent

  • The impact of virtual testimony on credibility judgments 

  • Special considerations for virtual experts 

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Memory and the (un)reliability of witness evidence

Our memory works like a dynamic log of information on Wikipedia rather than a film we can replay over and over. Understanding how and when our memories can be skewed, edited or polluted is a must-have skill when you’re gathering or evaluating witness evidence.


This training covers the most relevant findings from literature on witness testimony and applies that learning in the context of contentious interviews including litigation, arbitration, employee, regulatory and compliance.


Topics include:

  • The misinformation effect, leading questions, and anchoring

  • How false memories form and the effect of repeated interviews

  • The witness conformity effect and impact of biased reporting  

  • Good practice for conducting contentious interviews

Cognitive bias in legal decisions

We like to believe that our decisions reflect beautifully rational and logically-crafted thinking. The truth is, our decision-making processes are often flawed in systematic and predictable ways. Professional judges and arbitrators are not immune.


This training explores the cognitive biases that can influence decision-making, and offers strategies to minimise their potential effects.


Topics include:

  • The heavy influence of non-cognitive factors in legal contexts 

  • Cognitive biases impacting liability and quantum, including anchoring and hindsight bias

  • “I knew it all along” and the dangers of confirmation bias

  • Strategies to mitigate bias in legal decision-making 

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Hidden influences in settlement discussions

When it comes to negotiating settlement, psychology is the sugar in the mix not the icing on the cake. From start to finish, understanding the hidden influences in human thinking will help everyone arrive at the best outcome.


This training outlines several aspects of cognition and behaviour that will impact your preparation and strategy ahead of any settlement discussions.


Topics include:


  • The role of emotional intelligence and tactical empathy in negotiation

  • How our brains respond to unfairness and how to use fairness effectively 

  • Common cognitive biases in settlement discussions

  • Specific strategies around winning offers and counter-coffers  

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