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Cinema as Philosopher

by Jan Frankel Schau

From Jan Schau's blog.

Jan Frankel Schau


This week's insight comes from last night's movie. We saw the Coen Brother's Excellent new film, "No Country for Old Men". In it, Javier Bardem does a phenomenal job of playing an intense, recalcitrant, violent, mad man out for drugs and money. Tommy Lee Jones, whose role is introspective, thoughtful and restrained, having spent his career seeking law, order, calm and peace, at one point makes the keen observation: "Sometimes you just can't solve every dispute. In those cases, the best you can do is put a tourniquet on the wound and let it go."

I won't spoil the movie for you, because I do highly recommend it...but there was certainly a metaphoric lesson for mediators there. It particularly struck me because a case I tried to mediate was "settled" this week by the court granting a Motion for Summary Judgment. Whereas I had an offer of a "tourniquet" (far below the actual medical specials, but at least a gesture of good faith by a defendant who earnestly believed it had no legal exposure), the parties chose instead to try to solve the dispute by taking their best shot before a Judge. Amongst "old men" perhaps, there are enough ups and downs that this particular case didn't strike as hard as it did for the minor Plaintiff and his family...but for me, the two were inextricably related and ultimately made me appreciate the philosophy of the cinema in order to put things into perspective.

Biography


Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the needs of their representatives with the risk and expenses of trial. Those who have used Ms. Schau’s services recognize excellence in her persistence, optimism, creativity and integrity.

Ms. Schau was the President of the Southern California Mediation Association in 2007 and is recognized as among the most outstanding mediators in Southern California in the mediation of civil disputes by her peers and clients. She also serves as a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and has presided as Chair of it’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and Litigation Section. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Skills in Negotiation from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution of Pepperdine University as well as from the Western Law Center for Disability Rights at Loyola Law School.



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Website: www.schaumediation.com

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