The Long Tail of Mediation


After many years of practice, I am getting reasonably good at getting to a settlement of most mediations during the day set aside for mediation. The parties and their counsel are typically appreciative, but they have come to expect that from an experienced professional. By far, the most effusive accolades I get, though, are for those cases that don’t settle on the day of the hearing. On those, it’s a lot more work for me. I typically follow up by phone or email the next day, the next week, and sometimes daily for more than a month until the matter ultimately does settle. That is a long tail that the mediation hearing leaves behind it, but one that really earns me the appreciation and respect beyond the cases that settle within the single day. Like my “Grand Dachshund, Frank” (pictured here), that’s where the love, loyalty and determination come in. I don’t mean to discourage lawyers or their clients from getting to a reasonable settlement on the date of the mediation hearing, but if it becomes impossible, remember the lesson from our 4-legged friends and call upon your mediator to stick with you and your dispute until it can be resolved.

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About the Author

Jan Schau

Jan Frankel Schau is an Attorney Mediator in Los Angeles, California. She is an exclusive Neutral with ADR Services, Inc. specializing in employment, business and tort matters.

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