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money money money money money money money money money money money money money

by Victoria Pynchon

From Settle It Now Negotiation Blog

Victoria Pynchon

Take a look at Geoff Sharp's post on the so-called pure money case and then please please please send me your stories on meaning-making about money in the course of mediated or non-mediated negotiations.

 (see our previous posts on the subjective experience of money here and here)

What do I mean by "meaning making"?

Let me give you an example of the type of story I'm looking for. 

I was mediating a personal injury case and we'd reached impasse.  The Plaintiff was having trouble understanding how the amounts of money being discussed could possibly adequately compensate her for her injury -- a self-report of daily 3-hour headaches.      

After much discussion I sat down with my calculator and "translated" the final offer of settlement into an hourly wage for two years worth of headaches "if suffering were your full-time job." 

The resulting "hourly income" was pretty substantial when viewed as an hourly payment for pain.  This way of presenting defendant's offer broke the impasse.  

Why? 

Before we translated the total settlement offer (minus costs and fees) into a compensation scheme familiar to the Plaintiff -- an hourly wage -- she  had no metric against which to value that offer.  The money wasn't real until she understood it in terms of earnings.  

I've heard many other stories like this but my appetite for them is insatiable.  Whenever a mediator or lawyer tells me a story like this, I am always inspired and heartened.  Their telling also helps me become better at facilitating "pure money" negotiations. I'm hoping they will also be useful to my readers.

Thanks to the Wise Law blog for picking up on the beginning of what I hope will be an expanding conversation among mediators and litigators about "pure money" negotiations.

Biography


Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all types of business torts and contract disputes.  During her two years of full-time neutral practice, she has co-mediated both mandatory and voluntary settlement conferences with Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Alexander Williams, III and Victoria Chaney.  As a result of her work with Judge Chaney in the Complex Court at Central Civil West, Ms. Pynchon has gained significant experience mediating construction defect litigation.  Ms. Pynchon received her J.D., Order of the Coif, from the U.C. Davis School of Law. 



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Website: www.settlenow.com

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