The Closer

A Mediation Newsletter December 2010

Calm in the Storm
by James Rainwater

As we end the year, I am reminded of the greatest benefit of mediation: Calm deliberation. Lawsuits are stressful events, and trials signal the complete breakdown in non-hostile settlement. Mediation is the last non-confrontational interaction parties will likely have.

Mediation offers parties at conflict an opportunity to sit calmly and address the issues at hand. The mediator, through leadership and timing, can guide the parties to settlement. The best trait a mediator can possess is the ability to imbue the parities with a sense of confidence in the process and a sense of ownership in the decision-making.

I urge all attorneys to give serious consideration to resolving their clients' issues by any alternative dispute resolution process. People from all walks of life come to us for guidance, advice, and peace of mind. Rather than approaching a matter from an "us versus them" tack, we should strive to resolve the conflict in a straightforward, logical, and civil manner. We should engage the initiation of a pre-legal action in the same way we would like to be approached if the roles were reversed.

The best gift attorneys can give their clients, and the mediator as well, is the sense of quiet confidence in the process and the peaceful resolution of their dispute. Clients are already on edge. They need confidence in the process and the calming influence of deliberation. A confident mediator can provide both qualities. And these qualities can produce the conditions necessary for a successful mediated settlement.

Rainwater Law