Most people know that when you approach mediation, you typically bring a different tone of voice and even a different vocabulary from the rest of litigation. Instead of speaking in adversarial terms with “causes of action” and “affirmative defenses”, even the most hardened of litigators appreciate that the purpose of mediation is largely to state their side’s claims (or story or narrative), listen to the other side’s perspective and then negotiate a sensible deal in light of the risks, expenses and evidence that is known or likely to be produced. When we get to “brainstorming” or that creative idea generating, we can speak in the language of “what if’s” or “option generating”. There, we are not constrained to the legal rights and remedies which limit the court. We can “think outside the box” in order to get to the real interests of the parties, not just the likely outcome at trial. Like learning a foreign language, reading music or “coding” a new computer program, the language of mediation can be an important instrument which, if used effectively, can serve to tame the beastliest of adversaries in a single day. How’s that for a creative idea?
Malibu, California – January 23, 2006 – Pepperdine University has named Thomas Stipanowich as academic director and Peter Robinson as managing director of the School of Law’s Straus Institute for...By Peter Robinson, Tom Stipanowich
Peter Adler, Ph.D., President of The Keystone Center in Keystone, Colorado is also an author who has written extensively in the field of mediation and conflict resolution. His most recent...By Gini Nelson
Yesterday the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that the state’s Supreme Court “OKs mediation in custody disputes“. The problem with the story is that the New Jersey Supreme Court did nothing...By Diane J. Levin