Author Archives

  • If I Were a Rich Man–and Other Strategies for Appealing to the Wealthy Defendant in Mediation

    There was such an interesting article published in last Sunday’s New York Times called “Getting the Wealthy to Donate” by a doctoral candidate, a professor of Psychology and an associate professor of behavioral science, Ashley Whillans, Elizabeth Dunn and Eugene Caruso. Their studies demonstrated that wealthier people are far less likely to donate to charity […]

  • The role of deceit in Mediation

    I don’t know about you, but I am growing weary of the ease with which many disputants and their lawyers practice deceit in mediation. I understand advocating for your clients. I understand taking a strong stand on principles. However, when it crosses the line to a firm and apparently genuine communication with the mediator that […]

  • The role of Humility in Mediation

    Sometimes I have to step back and admit to myself that as the mediator, I am merely the guide to a voluntary conversation about whether and how a particular case may be settled. All too often, the headiness of coaching the parties and their wise counsel towards a settlement clouds my judgment and makes me […]

  • Guns and Butter: The Difficult Task of Balancing Priorities in Mediation

    Lately, I have been struck by the difficult balance between the expenses of defense/litigation and the diminishing resources of the litigants involved. The Nazi official Hermann Goring famously said in 1936, “Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat.” Then President Dwight D. Eisenhower voiced his objections to the expansion of what […]

  • The Role of Humility in Mediation

    Back in 1748, Lord Chesterfield said: “Never seem wiser or more learned than the people you are with.” On Easter Sunday, the New York Times published an Op Ed Article by Peter Wehner entitled, “The Quiet Power of Humility”. There, he cited a social psychologist, an atheist who still finds much to admire in religion, […]

  • The Challenge of Forward Vision in Mediation

    It is Springtime and thankfully due to record rainfalls, Southern California’s hillsides are abloom with flowers. We have just celebrated the Jewish holiday of Passover, when we gather together to recite the ancient story of the Jewish people leaving the chains of slavery in Egypt towards liberation and the promised land. We celebrate the new […]

  • Disrupting the Workplace Through Mediation

    There are a lot of “conventions” that we take for granted. The ways we behave are consistent with “what we’ve always done”. Take, for example, confirming the newest member of the Supreme Court. Although it has always required 60 Senate votes, this time, one political party decided they could change that convention and approve a […]

  • The Value of Civility in Mediation

    I had an interesting experience last week. I had two 1/2 day mediations scheduled on two different days. Both were arising out of claims of disability discrimination where the employer allegedly terminated an employee soon after he/she returned from a medical leave of absence. In one of the cases, the lawyers had developed such antagonism […]

  • The Importance of Truthfulness in Mediation

    I don’t know about you, but my head is absolutely spinning as I watch the events of the Trump Administration/Intelligence Committee investigation regarding communications with Russia during and after our last election. The nuances of what is the truth, whether the surveillance was lawful and who was entitled to know about it and when are […]

  • Creative Time for a Mediator

    It’s been a long time since I had several days clear on my mediation calendar as I’ve had this week. Although I had good intentions of taking a few days off to sail to Catalina, the press of business kept my Captain/husband from being able to get away. Instead, I allowed my inner creative self […]