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Mediation – Stick to Your Primary Objective I recently mediated a pre-litigation dispute regarding termination of a service agreement. The terminating party contended that it owed less money than the service provider was seeking upon termination. In my pre-mediation communication with the serv... Read More

Mediation – Do Not Give Up Too Soon In a recent real estate mediation, the parties were extremely far apart in settlement. Plaintiff had an opening settlement demand in the range of seven figures while defendants’ insurance carrier had the case valued in the low six figures. After the ... Read More

Mediation – When is a Final Number a Final Number? In a recent mediation, I was familiar with the negotiation styles of both attorneys because I had mediated with both previously. From the outset, plaintiff’s counsel indicated what he believed his client’s “final number” would be in settlement. As a ... Read More

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again In a recent mediation, the parties were only days away from a bench trial and remained hopelessly apart. Plaintiffs were holding on to their high seven-figure settlement demand. Plaintiff’s counsel knew that his clients did not have a case and aske... Read More

Joint Sessions Are Sometimes Necessary Like many of my mediator colleagues, in most of my mediations, the parties and counsel are kept apart during the entirety of the mediation. I do this because I believe that keeping the parties apart is more likely to spark open and honest communicati... Read More

Mediation: 2023 Year in Review It is hard to believe that it is time for me to do another year in review. 2023 was a year of learning and growth. Here are some of the mediation lessons I learned in 2023. Read More

Mediation: The Art of Learning At Judicate West’s recent annual retreat, Judicate West mediators from across California gathered to share what they have learned and how their mediation skills have evolved over the years. It was a great opportunity for me to learn from many of the... Read More

Sometimes a Little Civility Goes a Long Way As a mediator, I often see parties and counsel get angry and emotional. I find it an important part of the mediation process to get the parties and counsel to express and let out their anger and emotions sufficient to allow them to focus on resolvin... Read More

Mediation Negotiation: Sometimes When You Give More You Get More Everyone negotiates differently, but certain patterns emerge over time. Often, a plaintiff will have a much too high settlement demand which will lead to a much too low response to that demand. There are two outcomes when this pattern emerges. Either... Read More

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