The Constitutional Convention and Mediation

This will probably end up being the first of a bunch of posts on the United States Constitution.

About two years ago, I was struck by how much people were talking about The Constitution.  I have always been a sucker for U.S. History and I realized that I really didn’t know anything about those four months in the Summer of 1787 and a whole lot of people were going on about Constitution this and Constitution that.  While I had taken a Con Law class as both an undergraduate and a law student, my interest has been more personal than academic.

In October, 2017, I was lucky enough to come across Richard Beeman’s Plain, Honest Men (I brought an arm-load of books on the convention home from the library and Beeman’s book grabbed me from the first paragraph).  I was so taken by his beautiful prose and great skill as a story teller that I tried to find him on the web.  I wanted to send him an email thanking him.  Sadly, I learned that he had died after a long struggle with ALS in 2016.  I was more saddened by the death of someone I hadn’t even known about than I ever had been before.

My first impression upon reading Beeman’s account of the Federal Convention (as it was known then) was that the 55 men who came to Philadelphia represented people who had radical and conflicting beliefs and visions for the United States.  As the convention progressed, I became ever more aware of the skills and processes employed by mediators, today – without which, a compact would never have emerged in September.  I was so taken by this realization that I prepared a talk on Mediation Skills Used by the Framers.  The accompanying paper is a reflection of my thinking on the subject.  You can access my paper on Mediation and the Constitutional Convention, here.

A 3-hour CLE Program has been approved on this topic and will be provided in Bellevue on Monday, August 26, 2019.  You may access the registration page here.

Well, that’s enough for a first post on a pretty big subject!