Bob Berlin

Bob Berlin will teach “Mediation, Arbitration, and Negotiation” at Solo Practice University®.

Bob is President of The New Decision Management Associates, Inc. He has experience in handling ADR cases numbering in excess of three thousand civil and family law mediations since 1968. As a registered arbitrator, mediator and neutral evaluator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, Bob has handled a broad spectrum of cases in numerous courts throughout the state. He draws from an eclectic professional background in law, marriage and family therapy, communications and teaching. In addition to his present involvements, he is doing CE Trainings and Coaching of neutrals (having been trained by Coach University in the Core Essentials of Coaching).

A graduate of the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University, receiving the L.L.B. (J.D.) in 1963, Bob was a senior partner in the law firm of Berlin and Hodges, P.C. for 39 years. He served as a Municipal Court Judge for twenty-five years and has served as a pro hac Judge in three other courts. Bob served in the State House of Representatives, Middle Georgia District 86, 1973-1974 and was appointed by the Governor as a member of numerous state commissions.

Bob has received training in Negotiation Skills and Techniques (basic and advanced) at Harvard University Law School and Mediation at the University of Miami, the Atlanta Justice Center as well as two other institutions. He also received training in Domestic Relations Mediation in California and Multi-Door ADR training at the Georgia State University School of Law.

Bob was a paneled member of the American Arbitration Association, serving as an arbitrator for thirty years and is presently a chief arbitrator for Fulton County (Atlanta). He also chaired a committee for the ADR Section of the State Bar of Georgia.

Bob practiced as a Marriage and Family Therapist in Georgia and holds a Clinical Membership in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. He is an Advanced Practitioner, the highest level of membership, in the Association for Conflict Resolution. This is the designation afforded only a very limited number of practitioners who possess significant experience and unique qualities.

Bob is a former insurance adjuster for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and also worked as an independent claims adjuster. He has taught insurance law and ADR throughout the years as an adjunct faculty member at John Marshal Law School.

Bob taught courses for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) of the State Bar of Georgia and currently delivers Mediation Training. Training programs and presentations on ADR and Mediation were delivered to the Insurance Section of the Georgia Bar Association, the Macon Bar Association, the Georgia Bar Association Annual Conference, the Middle Georgia Better Business Bureau, the Claims Adjusters Conference of the Georgia Farm Bureau, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and Allstate Insurance Company and many others.

Bob has served as an adjunct professor at Wesleyan College, Georgia College, Macon State College, Middle Georgia College, Georgia Military College, Central Georgia Technical College and Herzing College, Mercer University and the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University.

He is an approved Mediator for the United States Postal Services, EEOC and the FBI. He is also a national presenter at annual conferences related to ADR.

Syllabus – Mediation

Introduction- Mediation

  • Conflict – Definition
  • Conflict Resolution Styles

The Mediation Process

  • Joint Meeting – Opening Statement
  • Caucus – Private Meetings

Opening Statements

  • Create The Environment
  • Set the Tone
  • Information Gathering


  • Interest-Based Negotiation
  • Position-Based Negotiation

Communication Skills

  • Listening
  • Reframing
  • Note-taking

Agreement Writing

  • SMART Agreements
  • Do-able/Durable

Mediation Benchmarks

  • Voluntary Process
  • Neutrality
  • Confidentiality
  • Capacity

Diversity Awareness

  • Biases


Syllabus – ADR

Introduction- “Old Art, New Emphasis”

Dispute Resolution Processes

  • Negotiation , Mediation
  • Ombudsman, Summary Jury Trials
  • Mini Trial, Private Judging
  • Arbitration, Litigation

Evaluating Cases for ADR

  • Court Staff
  • Casual Observers
  • Opposing Attorneys

Summary of ADR Triggers


  • Model
  • High/Low Arbitration
  • Advantages
  • Summary


  • Issues
  • Format/process
  • Advantages
  • Summary


  • Interest-based
  • Positional Bargaining
  • Effective Negotiation Principles


Syllabus – Negotiation


  • Basics of Harvard Principled Negotiation

Interest-based Negotiation

  • Satisfy Legitimate Interests of both parties

Hard and Soft Positions

  • Adversarial
  • Friendly

Four Rules

  • Distinguish between People and Problems
  • Explore issues/Underlying Interests
  • Generate Options
  • Develop Agreements based on Fair Standards

Underlying Interests

  • Interest-based Negotiators
  • Interest-based Problem Solvers


  • Brainstorming
  • Rules


  • Establishing Fair Standards



Negotiation Preparation Guide