For 37 years, I have been a combatant for thousands of litigants working primarily as plaintiff’s contingency fee attorney, and for a short time, on the defendant’s side, I am familiar and comfortable viewing a problem from all sides. For the last 25 years, I have been the principal in a successful Marin County law office. I know to solve a person’s problem and achieve settlement, it is essential to unearth the essence of the problem. In many cases, there is much more than money to getting a case resolved.
Having this knowledge persuades me to be an assertive mediator. I strive to permit the parties to achieve a dignified result; a result where the parties understand the positive aspects of resolution and use the settlement as a starting point to move forward toward productive activities. Everyone knows there are better things to do than being involved in a lawsuit.
Engaging litigants to participate in non-judgmental discussion empowers people to settle lawsuits. Whether it is a personal injury, dispute over property, contract, real estate transaction or a dispute over inheritance, Resolution is available every mediation setting. When people believe their story is being heard, they are open to compromise. As a story is told, and heard, litigants open to resolution. Litigants enjoy the promise of resolution rather than the uncertainty of conflict.
Yet, there is more to mediation than getting in a room to discuss a case. The goal of Mediation is getting a case closed; part of creating the environment to create resolution mandates the mediator have a hands-on approach. The mediation must help the parties say, “Yes, I am satisfied.” “That works.” “Settled.”
The essential dynamic of litigation is the same regardless its cause. Those who believe they have been injured want to made whole. Those accused, want fairness. As a mediator, I need to bridge that chasm. My practice makes sure the parties are heard, the law is fairly considered and damages are viewed through an economic lens.