Mediation Insights

Schau's Mediation Musings

  • Being Judgmental in Mediation and Parenting

    I learned something from my students at Pepperdine this week about the differences between being judgmental and being neutral as a mediator. When queried, I admitted that I am not always completely neutral in a dispute which I am mediating. Often times, I am persuaded that one side or the other has superior evidence, is […]

  • Truth and Consequences in Mediation

    With all of the political rhetoric going on in the U.S. right now, it was refreshing to me to hear Rabbi Mordechai Finley address the topic of the potential of “two truths” and how it affects our interpersonal interactions this Yom Kippur. What I understood him to say is basically that there can exist two […]

  • What does Faith have to do with Mediation?

    During this week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish people declare that “The Book of Life” is still open. On Rosh Hashanah, declarations are said to be made about who shall live and who shall die, who shall suffer and who shall prosper, who shall be born, who shall marry and so on. […]

  • Talking the Talk of Mediation

    Most people know that when you approach mediation, you typically bring a different tone of voice and even a different vocabulary from the rest of litigation. Instead of speaking in adversarial terms with “causes of action” and “affirmative defenses”, even the most hardened of litigators appreciate that the purpose of mediation is largely to state […]

  • The Value of Deep Listening in Mediation

    Everybody should have a Mom like mine. In her late 80’s, she celebrates life every day. This week, she will celebrate a big (hint–almost 90th) birthday. And I mean she loves a celebration. She is ever the optimist. Each age has been her favorite. In her 60’s, she reminded me, she had her health, her […]

  • Putting Your Money Where Your Values Are in Mediation

    I mediated a case recently that was made more complex because the terminated employee was the mother of a current, highly valued employee. After she chose to sue her former company for wrongful termination, her daughter cut off all relations with her mom and would not allow her to see her newborn baby. The owner […]

  • Passion v Justice in mediation

    I spent last weekend in Las Vegas at the Consumer Attorney’s Association of Los Angeles’ Convention. There, over 3,000 trial lawyers gather to hear continuing education and encouragement about winning for their clients. The last session is always a presentation by those who have achieved the most stunning Plaintiff verdicts in the past year in […]

  • The Hostile Mediator: Trick or Treat?

    There was an interesting study coming out of Harvard Business Review this week that suggests that a hostile mediator may be the most effective way to reduce conflict. The study was conducted by Researchers at Columbia and Harvard Business Schools, but was not directed at litigated disputes. Still, they concluded that where the facilitator was […]

  • Saving Face through Mediation

    Sometimes we get so accustomed to dealing with lawyers in litigated cases that we forget that they have a role to play with their clients that sometimes is little more than “face saving” in a mediation. This month, I had two private, litigated cases that failed to settle for different reasons. Because this hurt my […]

  • The Benefits of a Mediator with A Sore Throat

    I returned from vacation with a summer cold and no less than 6 mediation hearings on my calendar this week. While I was busy concerning myself with the shortcomings of not having sufficient energy to awaken each morning and arrive at my mediations with sufficient clarity to sustain myself through the day and perform what […]

  • Appreciating Diversity and Preaching Tolerance in Mediation

    So many conflicts seem to arise out of a simple lack of tolerance. Whether it arises from diversity of style, world-view, religion, values or backgrounds, folks sometimes just shut down and refuse to engage with others–and then trouble brews. This is a family photo from our vacation this week. We are multi-ethnic, four generations, ranging […]