My Mediation Philosophy

I come to every mediation extremely well-prepared. When I read your submission, I am examining the hidden layers that you or opposing counsel might not even be aware of.  I am looking for the subtle clues that tell me why your client or the other side feels angry, disrespected, or even sad. You rightfully focus on legal rights, remedies, and defenses.  I study that too, and I seek to understand the motivations, interests, biases, and emotions of the parties and of your opposing counsel.


I understand that cases have to settle but also understand that mediation is a voluntary, self-determinative process. As I have worked through the paradox, for the mediator, of having to settle cases while letting you and your client really control the outcome, I have learned to be a decision architect. My job is to help you and your client make the very best decision possible in the light of great uncertainty, risk, ambiguity, and emotion.  That decision must be made with an acceptance of the deep consequences to the lives involved for the years ahead.  If I do those two things, I have done my job well. 


I connect to you and your client on multiple levels. Emotions flow through every mediation.  I have learned to listen carefully, validate and vindicate where appropriate, help create meaning, and provide a safe space for your stories to be heard.  I connect to you and your client on multiple levels.  At some point, if the mediation is a traditional distributive negotiation, we have to start the “dance.” My job here is to act as a neutral cognitive counselor and negotiation coach.  I help you and your client avoid the decisional errors that plague lawyers in negotiation.


As a broad generalist, I’ve been lucky to learn a lot. Each case is another tutorial in life, business, and finance. When you mediate your case, you want a smart, well-prepared, decision architect, not a legal specialist who has not trained or practiced as a professional mediator. My goal is to get your case settled with a deal that will stick.