Forces That Negatively Affect Negotiations

May 17, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

In another post, I discussed forces that impact our judgment in valuing cases. Today I want to discuss forces that negatively affect our ability to negotiate cases; forces which, It’s important to note, generally influence us subconsciously. Parties aren’t even aware they’re at play. My role as mediator is to anticipate any such influences, and … Read More

Forces At Play In A Mediation

May 4, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

Negotiations are never conducted in a vacuum. There are a myriad of forces impacting and influencing a party’s willingness and ability to negotiate and settle disputes. Part of our job as attorneys and mediators is to identify those forces, then determine if we can counter them and use them to our advantage. As a teacher … Read More

The Power Of An Apology In Mediation

April 20, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

For most of us, apologies don’t come easy. Personally, I have no trouble apologizing to my wife. As long as she apologizes first. . . That said, apologies can be powerful in litigation. Even more so in mediation. What’s more, mediation provides a setting in which parties can apologize more easily. After all, the process … Read More

Overcoming Impasse In Mediations (Part 3 of 3)

March 28, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

As I noted in Part Two on this topic, when parties are unable to avoid impasse, there are a number of ways you can change the dynamics of negotiations — including: Offering An Assessment I remind the parties of their BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) and WATNA (Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement), … Read More

Overcoming Impasse In Mediations (Part 2 of 3)

March 14, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

Preventing Impasse Needless to say, the best way to deal with impasse is to prevent it altogether. One way of doing this is by proactively addressing the prospect of last minute add-ons — or additional claims and issues introduced after a substantive agreement has been reached. Typical add-ons include confidentiality agreements, mediation costs, and who … Read More

Overcoming Impasse In Mediation, Part 1 of 3

February 28, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

Impasse. Arguably the single most dreaded word in the world of negotiation — where the worst outcome is no outcome. Impasse occurs every day — in business, marriage, life — and typically results when one or both parties in a negotiation refuse to make further concessions on a particular issue. As much as I despise … Read More

How To Make Better Decisions In Mediations. And In Life.

February 7, 2017By br_adminCase Studies

Mediation can provide certainty in an uncertain litigation process. By design, it enables the client to have control (at least over their own decisions), in a judicial process that none of us can fully control. My role, simply put, is to try to help lawyers and their clients make good decisions with the information they … Read More

Advice for Your Clients In Mediation

January 24, 2017By br_adminCase Studies

Several years ago, I wrote a Best Practices article for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), advising contractors approaching or participating in mediations. Below is a summary of that article — which should be helpful to any clients participating in mediations. Be Prepared. The three keys to success in any endeavor are preparation, preparation and … Read More

Should You Make Opening Statements In A Mediation?

January 18, 2017By br_adminCase Studies

I recently served on a panel of mediators at the Alabama State Bar’s annual meeting. One of the attendees asked the panel if we encouraged attorneys to give opening statements in mediations. I was the sole panelist who said Yes. I believe opening statements are important; particularly when a mediation is attended by decision-makers (IE: … Read More