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

The Role Of Communication In Mediation

December 22, 2016By Bill RatliffUncategorized

Whether it’s written or oral, communication is the legal profession equivalent of blocking & tackling — and it comes naturally to most attorneys. I suspect most of us would grade ourselves pretty highly on our communication skills. That said, I have to wonder if we’re intentional enough about what we communicate, and the messages we … Read More