Listen. JUST Listen.

Listen. JUST Listen.

June 14, 2018

Good advice whether you’re in mediation or not. In my last post, I talked about the common qualities of good listeners; and how effective, intentional listening involves your ears, your eyes, your mind, your heart and your undivided attention. I also talked the fundamental need to be heard — which we all share. That said, … Read More

Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

May 10, 2018

The importance of listening during mediations. You remember the guy who repeatedly asked the headline’s question in the Verizon ad campaign, years ago? Whether or not you liked it, the fact that Sprint hired the guy should tell you how effective that campaign was. What’s more, seeing him again on TV got me thinking about … Read More

Pre-Mediation Conferences

Pre-Mediation Conferences

April 2, 2018

Pre-Mediation Conferences Are you effectively utilizing them as a part of the mediation process? I’ve handled any number of mediations where the parties and counsel view prospects for settlement with optimism. In other cases — typically where the facts or the law are complex, the number of moving parts (parties, insurance coverage dispute, disagreement over … Read More

Don’t Take Special for Granted

Don’t Take Special for Granted

March 1, 2018

Don’t Take “Special” for Granted My posts typically deal with insights I’ve gained in my career as a mediator. That said, mediation is what I do. It’s not who I am. I’m a son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend, a lawyer, a partner, a Christian — and so many other things, in … Read More

Creative Uses Of Mediation

Creative Uses Of Mediation

February 8, 2018

One of the things I enjoy most about my job as a mediator is the flexibility inherent in the mediation process I utilize. Most of my readers are lawyers. Many of you are litigators — for whom mediation has become a preferred tool for resolving most of your cases. Typically, I’m assuming, you see mediation … Read More

When Is A Case Ripe For Mediation?

When Is A Case Ripe For Mediation?

January 22, 2018

When is a case ripe for mediation? I’ve successfully mediated cases before suit was filed; after suit was filed, but before any discovery was conducted; after discovery was completed; while a jury was deciding a case; and while a case was on appeal. It’s not just about timing. It’s also about information. And motivation. I … Read More

The Need To Be Right

The Need To Be Right

December 7, 2017

Regardless of the hat I’m wearing at the time — mediator, litigator, friend, brother, husband, father, and now grandfather — I struggle with the desire to be right. Always right. I recently read a post on the Mediate.com blog by Loraine Segal entitled The Seductiveness of Being Right. St. Augustine, a pillar of the early … Read More

Decision Tree Analysis

Decision Tree Analysis

October 24, 2017

Decision tree analysis is a valuable tool for evaluating settlement options in mediation. It’s a tactic we employ with even the most mundane decisions. For instance, as we consider crossing a busy street, we’re unconsciously weighing the “reward” of being across the street — along with our probability of safe passage — against the risk … Read More

Making The Most Of Appellate Mediation Opportunities

Making The Most Of Appellate Mediation Opportunities

October 12, 2017

I’ve been doing appellate mediation since the program began, and I’ve been genuinely surprised by the success rate. At the program’s inception, I anticipated a significantly lower success rate than I’ve had with non-appellate mediations — but it’s about 70%, which isn’t much lower than my rate for other matters. While my approach to conducting … Read More

ratliff_billA senior partner of the law firm of Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt, Bill Ratliff has been an adjunct professor of Mediation at the University of Alabama since 2009.
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