Is litigation truly the best alternative to a mediated agreement ("BATNA")? "BATNA" is the acronym used in mediations to compare what the parties may achieve in mediation versus going to trial. A look at last week's verdict in the first case to go to trial against Bob...

January 6, 2016

It's a new year, time for new beginnings, "do-overs", self-improvement, and deep reflections. That is also how I see each day of mediation. People come to mediation because they are in a dispute of some sort. It may be a pending lawsuit, or it could be a disagreement t...

August 26, 2015

Recently a lawyer told me that he felt mediators treat plaintiff lawyers differently than they treat defense lawyers. I was surprised and asked the genesis of his belief. He had worked as a defense lawyer for several years, and now represents plaintiffs in employment a...

I read a good article from Roger C. Benson - Link is below. Mr. Benson raises a topic that comes up frequently in mediation- that of trying to resolve conflict for someone who is stuck in the conflict. He states, "The boulder in the path to resolving conflict is fear –...

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."  This is easier said than done.  All parties to a negotiation, whether it is as formal as mediation, or negotiating for a raise or to purchase a car, want to be heard and understood; even more than that, they hope to c...

April 13, 2015

As I am getting ready to speak at a bar program on preparation for mediation, I realized It has been awhile since I wrote about the topic. Thus, here are my proposed tips for preparation for a successful mediation.


(1) Lawyers, meet with your client in advance of the m...

Recently, I experienced an unusual number of mediations not immediately settling at the mediation. Every mediator at some time, goes through feelings of "failure" if they are unable to settle a case. However, we also know that not everyone is in the right place to sett...

February 18, 2015

In honor of President's Day, today's mediation tip honors leadership, and takes inspiration from Coach JOHN WOODEN, the celebrated UCLA basketball coach. In most mediations, people act, emote, and react to the other side's actions. Why is that? it's because human natur...

February 11, 2015

In most mediations, there is a divide between the parties as to what the actual facts are, and each party feels he or she is the right one. This leads to discussions about the basis for each sides' belief or position. Often everyone simply has to "agree to disagree", b...

December 16, 2014

Flexibility is important in all negotiations.  However a couple recent cases I mediated exemplify how flexibility truly made the difference between impasse, and settlement. There were three common threads between the cases:  (a) All parties and counsel were firm in the...

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The "Holiday Season" (from Thanksgiving to New Years), can be one of the most joyful times of the year. Many people look forward to this time, envisio...

Wellness Tip: Keeping your balance during the holidays

December 19, 2019

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