Individual Viewer

Understanding Impasse in Negotiation & Mediation: How to Prevent, Avoid, & Break Deadlock

Length: 1 hour 24 minutes

Impasse is the point when negotiation breaks down and the parties reach for their respective briefcases.  Absent some intervention or course change, the deal is dead, the litigation continues, and the negotiation is over.  

This course will examine the causes of impasse so that in many situations, impasse can be avoided entirely. It also will explore techniques for recognizing the warning signs of an impending impasse mid-negotiation-- even before it occurs so that minor impediments do not explode into major roadblocks.  Finally when parties reach impasse, learn how to diagnose the cause so you can choose from among various techniques to resurrect the relationship, continue the negotiation, and reach resolution.

This course is recommended for all negotiators -- litigators and transaction attorneys of all levels.  It will introduce new negotiators to classic impasse breaking techniques. The more experienced negotiators will learn to analyze the underlying causes of impasse and to select the appropriate strategy to avoid or break through the impasse.

Program Instructor: Joan Stearns Johnsen, Mediator and Arbitrator


9:00-9:05  Introduction
9:05-9:30  Causes of Impasse
9:30-9:45  Anticipating and Preventing Impasse; The Nexus between Preparation and Impasse
9:45-10:00  Warning Signs of Impasse
10:00- 10:20 Techniques for Rescuing a Negotiation or Mediation
10:20-10:30  Questions & Answers

NY CLE credit: 1.5 skills.
NJ CLE credit: 1.5 general MCLE
CA & PA CLE credit: 1.0 general MCLE


Original Recording Date: 10/2/2013

Skills (60): 1.5

Produced By:

New York City Bar Association

Course Materials

  • Understanding Impasse in Negotiation & Mediation Coursebook
  • Updated PPT
  • Affirmation Document