Resolution Strategies

APPLES & ORANGES

If I was building a library about negotiation, I'd start with a book called “The Science of Settlement: Ideas for Negotiators” by Barry Goldman, adjunct professor at Wayne State University Law School. In a mere 167 pages — 177 if you count the glossary — Professor Goldman provides a wealth of inform [...]

By |2024-04-01T09:00:19-07:00April 1st, 2024|

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED

When I began offering my services as a mediator more than 16 years ago, I held myself personally responsible every time a mediation ended in an impasse — convinced that I had failed to do my job and had let down the parties and their counsel. Intellectually, of course, I understood that mediation wa [...]

By |2024-03-29T06:38:58-07:00March 27th, 2024|

BRAKING BAD

Have you ever noticed that the best drivers and the best negotiators share certain skills in common? Both anticipate the actions and reactions of others. Both are quick to make necessary adjustments. Both are aware that sudden and unexpected maneuvers can cause a loss of traction or send things spin [...]

By |2024-02-05T13:14:50-08:00February 5th, 2024|

CANCEL CULTURE

For reasons that largely remain a mystery to me, I had more "last-minute" cancellations in 2023 than any previous year. By "last-minute," I mean a request to cancel or continue a mediation within fourteen (14) days of its scheduled date, at which point the mediation fee is non-refundable unless I'm [...]

By |2024-01-02T17:58:56-08:00January 2nd, 2024|

WINNERS AND LOSERS

I tend to think of negotiation as a competitive process that necessarily requires cooperation in order for the parties to reach their shared objective of resolution. The reason I consider the process "competitive" is that each side generally wants to be “the winner,” i.e., the party that negotiated [...]

By |2023-12-01T17:52:16-08:00December 1st, 2023|

SEEDS OF PEACE

In July of 2008, my family and I — together with other families from Temple Judea in Tarzana, including the families of some of our closest friends — travelled to Israel with Rabbi Dan Moskovitz. For all of us, it was and remains the trip of a lifetime. The tragic events of October 7th instantly bro [...]

By |2023-11-01T08:02:10-07:00November 1st, 2023|

TUNNEL VISION

Sometimes, the parties to a dispute become so immersed in the details and so entrenched in their respective positions that they develop tunnel vision and can't see a seemingly apparent solution. The following apocryphal story, which has been told in a variety of ways throughout the years, illustrate [...]

By |2023-10-02T15:48:49-07:00October 2nd, 2023|

WALKING HAS ITS BENEFITS

It borders on heresy for a mediator to publicly endorse the notion that one party or the other can sometimes benefit by "walking" away during a mediation, but that's precisely what I'm here to say. Paradoxically, that's because "walking" can sometimes be an effective way to reach a resolution. Consi [...]

By |2023-09-01T07:36:18-07:00September 1st, 2023|

EVERY SO OFTEN, IT’S NOT ABOUT MONEY

Like most of my colleagues, the disputes I mediate usually involve claims in which one party seeks to recover compensation from one or more other parties. But every so often, it's not about money. Two weeks ago, I mediated a professional malpractice claim where defense counsel informed me, during ou [...]

By |2023-08-01T08:40:06-07:00August 1st, 2023|

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

Last month, while mediating a personal injury claim, I met in-house counsel for a big-box retailer whose negotiating philosophy was refreshingly unique and, at the same time, refreshingly familiar. His approach mirrored one that I've written about before — an approach which bears repeating, especial [...]

By |2023-07-03T09:22:43-07:00July 3rd, 2023|
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