Stone Soup Dispute Resolution Knowledge Project

The Stone Soup Dispute Resolution Knowledge Project is designed to promote collaboration by faculty, students, scholars, practitioners, educational institutions, and professional associations to produce, disseminate, and use valuable qualitative data about actual dispute resolution practice. Dispute resolution is defined broadly and includes dispute system design, conflict management, organizational decision-making, dispute prevention, and transactional negotiation, among other things. Moreover, the Project is not limited to traditional concepts of dispute resolution, recognizing that legal practice generally is oriented to dispute prevention and resolution.

This Project is hosted by law professors at the University of Missouri School of Law Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution but we encourage people in other disciplines and countries to participate. We also encourage people to use Stone Soup assignments and activities in courses that have dispute resolution elements even though they do not specifically or exclusively focus on dispute resolution.

The basic premise of the project is that faculty will use their courses to generate knowledge about dispute resolution. For example, students conduct interviews about dispute resolution cases and/or faculty might conduct “focus group classes.” Interviews may involve professionals and/or lay people involved in cases. Students may ask people to provide accounts of entire cases or discuss parts of cases that illustrate specific issues.

We encourage other innovative ideas for promoting the Project’s goals. For example, faculty can use student competitions to organize general de-briefings for students and judges. Academics and practitioners may take advantage of the conference and continuing education programs to systematically take advantage of learning opportunities from these programs.

Faculty should consult with the research ethics bodies in their universities (called “institutional review boards” in the US) to determine if approval is needed for these activities. If the activities are for teaching but not research as defined in applicable rules, approval by these bodies may not be needed.

The co-directors of this Project are John Lande and Rafael Gely.

Vision for the Stone Soup Project

Report on the First Year of the Stone Soup Project

Stone Soup People

Board of Advisors

Inaugural Cohort of Stone Soup Faculty

Stone Soup Faculty 2018-2019

Stone Soup in Courses

Resources for Using Stone Soup in Courses

Materials for Stone Soup Interview Assignments

Suggestions for Conducting “Focus Group Classes”

Stone Soup is Not Just for “ADR Courses”

Assessments of Stone Soup Courses

Overcoming Status Quo Bias to Use Stone Soup

Getting the Most Out of Competitions and Continuing Education Programs

Guidance for Doing Modest Stone Soup in Continuing Education Programs (including model forms)

Guidance for Doing Ambitious Stone Soup in Continuing Education Programs (including model forms)

Guidance for Doing Stone Soup at a Conference

Questions that Presenters Might Ask in Continuing Education Programs

Illustration of Data Collected from Modest Continuing Education Program

Illustration of Data Collected from Ambitious Continuing Education Program

Illustration of Data Collected From Multiple Conference Programs

“Mini-Course” for Faculty Planning Stone Soup Assignments and Activities


What is knowledge and how we can get it

Examples of cool qualitative research about dispute resolution

More about Macaulay’s Noncontractual Relations in Business article

Galanter’s use of lawyer jokes as data

The joy of learning – and how Stone Soup can help

You and your students can do good interviews – examples and models

Topics you might want to ask about

Good (and bad) questions that interviewers might ask

Designing course assignments for students to collect evidence using qualitative methods

Using events with practitioners such as competitions and continuing education programs

Blog Posts

Listserv. The Stone Soup listserv is open to faculty interested in using a Stone Soup assignment or activity. Faculty can subscribe to the listserv even if they have not yet used a Stone Soup assignment or activity or do not definitely plan to do so.

To subscribe to the listserv, send a message to: In the body of the text, write: subscribe STONESOUP-L firstname lastname.  Obviously, you should substitute your own first and last names.

If you are a subscriber to the listserv, you can send a message to the listserv subscribers by sending an email to STONESOUP-L@PO.MISSOURI.EDU.

Listserv subscribers can access an archive of messages posted to the listserv. To access the archive, go to the StoneSoup listserv home page. If you don’t have a password, follow the instructions to create a password.

For more information, email John Lande.