How I Mediate
I combine my education, training and experience to practice mindfulness based mediation, with an edge.
“Mindfulness” refers to calmly and compassionately engaging the parties and counsel, without judgment or imposing an agenda, in order to understand the conflict and illuminate the paths to resolution. Getting each side to see (and not simply acknowledge) how the other views the conflict is essential to this process.
The “edge” refers to using a variety and combination of mediation techniques including “facilitative”, “evaluative” and “transformational” to get it done – by fostering a true negotiation and efficiently guiding the parties to a durable resolution based on reasons they understand and accept.
My preference is to focus on viewpoints and deal points, not conflict and pressure. At the core of most mediated disputes are differences in viewpoint and goals. I guide the parties in exploring their differences so that they at least understand how their opponents see things – and how the varying viewpoints might play out before a trier of fact. I guide the parties to clarify their goals in terms of distinguishing what they need from what they want, and the relative risk and cost of pursuing each. So my role is more as a coach than a judge. However, when it seems beneficial to moving the process forward, I engage in frank evaluation of the legal issues – drawing on my 28 years of trial practice to provide an unbiased view.
When appropriate, I explore underlying issues such as fairness, honor, reputation, hurt feelings – which often provide keys to unlocking the dispute.
When we get to the numbers, I encourage the parties to avoid posturing and have rational bases for their positions. I use a variety of devices such as “bracketing” to move things along. I judiciously use mediator’s proposals and only after vetting them with counsel.
Prior to the mediation session:
At the mediation session: