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 […]

Litigation Status Reports from the Confederate States of America

THINGS ARE GOING GREAT – LET’S KEEP FIGHTING The fall of Atlanta “is not a calamity that endangers our cause.” Montgomery, Alabama Advertiser, September 1864   “No former period of the war has contained such elements of encouragement for the South as the present.” Richmond, Virginia Examiner, February 1865, 60 days before the surrender at Appomattox   Many […]

Mediation Phases

Like the moon, mediation proceeds in phases. Here’s a primer on what happens when. Phase 1: Investigation The first phase of a mediation consists of fact gathering and defining the issues. When the parties provide exhaustive briefs, time spent on fact-finding may be minimal. We can quickly pin down which facts and issues the parties agree […]

How Much Does Mediation Cost?

You could pay $30,000 for a day with a retired state Supreme Court Justice. Or you could pay about a tenth of that amount for an effective mediator. When you’re ready to choose a mediator, check out the person’s bio (resume, CV) and request a copy of the fee schedule. A few mediators post their […]

When The Injured Worker Calls- Ethical Implications

I get calls at least once a month from represented injured workers who don’t know what is going on with their claims. Stop and think about that in light of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Typically, in violation of existing rules, the AA has not communicated with the client. Sometimes the attorney has given the […]

New Rules Of Professional Conduct For California Lawyers

                                                 New Considerations in Settlement and Case Management  The California Supreme Court has approved new rules of professional conduct for attorneys licensed in California which go into effect November 1, 2018. These rules generally […]

Humility Leads to Mediation Success

Here’s an oxymoron for you: the humble litigator. Like jumbo shrimp and military intelligence, it may seem ridiculous to pair humility with any litigator. But for anyone trying to settle a claim, a little humility can help get you to the finish line. Most of the time that dispute will eventually settle without court intervention. The […]

Documenting the Mediated Agreement

Almost all of my mediations end with agreement to a Compromise and Release. Parties often bring a partially completed Compromise & Release form, DWC-CA form 10214(c), to the mediation. That’s great. But when considerations prevent execution of a final agreement at the mediation, a Memorandum of Understanding, known as an M.O.U., can be invaluable. What Is It After […]

What’s Wrong With Telephone Negotiation?

A litigation analysis found that lawyers used telephone negotiation in 72% of the cases studied resulting in settlement only 35% of the time. That means that phone negotiation sessions or other settlement processes had to be used multiple times to get to settlement. We can assume that repetition resulted in a loss of time and […]