The Importance of Facts

A big part of a mediator’s job is to elicit and isolate relevant facts. Then we can determine points of agreement and disagreement. Mediations come in two basic types: – Parties agree on the facts but disagree on how to interpret them – Parties disagree on the facts Model 1: We Agree on the Facts, […]

Are You A Courageous Negotiator?

Merriam Webster defines courage as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. The easy way to litigate is to react to catalysts from outside sources, such as the court, opposing counsel, or a medical emergency. The courageous negotiator is proactive. That includes knowing how to push a claim to […]

Is Mediation Effective in Workers’ Comp?

Babe Ruth’s lifetime batting average was .342. Studies in states with a history of workers’ compensation mediation suggest your success rate with it is likely to be a whole lot better. In Florida, parties must mediate workers’ compensation claims within 130 days of the filing of a petition for benefits. Results for the fiscal year ended June […]

How to Write a Workers Compensation Mediation Brief

Why do so many advocates stumble when it comes to preparing for mediation? Perhaps the most important thing a lawyer can do to prepare for mediation is to write a brief. Done properly, the process forces the writer to focus and get ready to negotiate. But many people do it wrong, mostly by providing irrelevant and obsolete information […]

Flavors of Workplace Injuries

Workplace injury benefits come in many “flavors.” Most California workers are covered by workers compensation, administered by the state. However, federal law provides workplace injury benefits to others. A narrow definition, subject to many refinements, of these groups includes: Jones Act- maritime workers Longshore Act- dockworkers Defense Base Act – civilian employees working abroad on […]

Winning the Zero Sum Game

Value-Added Negotiating Many negotiators approach resolution as a zero sum game. Each side’s gain or loss is exactly equal to the other party’s gain or loss. Viewing the resources available as limited can obstruct getting to settlement. Particularly when one or more parties have hit their dollar authority limit, adding non-monetary benefits to the discussion creates a […]

FOBO Paralysis

Most of us have seen, and maybe used, the acronym FOMO. It means Fear of Missing Out. FOMO is the fear of making the wrong decision about how to spend your time, particularly after you’ve seen internet stories about others doing better.  Negotiation FOBOThe related condition in negotiation is FOBO, Fear Of Better Options. Fear that […]

A Mediation Story

The claim was decades old; indemnity was supposedly fully paid. The carrier hadn’t paid a medical bill in years. The applicant had dismissed her attorney, but continued to pursue the claim. The carrier wanted the claim off the books, so they called me. Without prompting, the adjuster disclosed his authority limit to me in an email. The applicant, […]

Four Necessities for Mediation Success

These four attributes are integral to an effective mediation. FairnessThe process and the person conducting the process must be fair. What’s more, all participants must perceive them as fair. Mediation is a level playing field. This safe, neutral environment is a good place to test the validity of an argument. The mediator is a professional neutral. Without preconceptions, […]

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