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Controlling Difficult Clients During Mediations

IT’S NOT EASY. IN RARE INSTANCES, IT’S NOT EVEN POSSIBLE. I recently wrapped up a mediation in which we settled two Federal and two State Court cases as a part of the settlement. There were 15 attorneys involved, and it took us nearly five months to pull-together all of the moving parts. What took so […]

Should Mediators Offer Case Evaluations?

MEA CULPA: I had a busy summer. Family vacations. Getting my daughter married. Fishing in Alaska. A week at Mayo Clinic for family. AND a hectic work schedule. As my wife might say, metaphorically, I let the grass grow high on my blog! With that, back to work. I recently read a good article by […]

Mediation As A Tool For Minimizing Risk

“You’ve got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em” Kenny Rogers For most people, risk is a four-letter word. It’s something lawyers deal with every day. You’re paid to minimize, evaluate, and know when risk is worth taking. When you draft a contract, your client expects you to anticipate issues before […]

Successful Mediations Satisfy Clients’ Need To Be Heard

We often hear the phrase “He just needs his day in Court.” This phrase can mean any number of things, but I think it often means a person really needs the opportunity to be heard. Sometimes a person just needs a third party to hear both sides of an issue and help find the resolution. […]

Trump & Congress Conduct Crash Course In Bad Mediation Practices.

Justice Potter Stewart is the author of a quote we’ve probably all heard. Wrestling to define what constituted pornography, he said, “I know it when I see it.” The same thing might be said for bad negotiating tactics. Sadly, we’ve all had front row seats to recent negotiations conducted so poorly, they’re likely one day […]

Attorneys In Mediation: Don’t Beat A Dead Horse!

In one of my very first columns for this blog, I advised my readers that persistence wins in mediation. While I stand by that advice, there is another kind of persistence that absolutely, positively doesn’t win in mediation — the kind referred-to in this post’s title. Beating a dead horse: What a descriptive phrase, when […]

To Be A Better Mediator, Trust The Process.

If you’re an Alabama football fan (or, for that matter, a Bama hater), there’s a good chance you’ve heard Nick Saban talk about “the process” — the term he uses in describing his approach to building championship-caliber football players and teams. Despite recent evidence to the contrary 🙁, that process has served his program very […]

Attention Attorneys In Mediation: Don’t Just Phone It In.

If I’m being honest, I cringe every time I conduct a mediation where the defendant’s party representative participates by telephone, or not at all. Unfortunately, I see this happening more and more often. Having said this, I can think of several plausible reasons why client representatives wouldn’t attend a mediation — including The representative is […]

Winning Mediations “On Purpose”

I recently bought an amazing 2-CD release by sports psychologist Kevin Elko entitled Win On Purpose. A longtime consultant to Nick Saban and numerous other college and professional football coaches, Elko is renowned for his success in teaching and motivating athletes to reach their highest potential. Elko’s presentation inspired me to consider how litigators in […]

How To Serve As A Better Counselor In Mediations

Many of the lawyers reading this use letterhead that identifies them as “counselor.” Though the term as used by lawyers may not be identical to the way it’s intended in the counseling community, I find it fascinating how many of us in the profession hold ourselves out to be counselors. When I think of a […]