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Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Alexander Williams, III and Helen Bendix Talk About Settlement Conferences, Mediation Strategy and Tactics, and the Administration of Justice

by Victoria Pynchon

From Settle It Now Negotiation Blog

Victoria Pynchon

The prestigious Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution has a new web site -- HERE!!! -- and a few videos that the beginning mediation or settlement advocate shouldn't miss.

Here's Judge Williams, who sits in the downtown Los Angeles Superior Court as a full-time settlement judge.  In the first part of his video, Judge Williams talks about the differences between settlement and mediation as well as a few of his favorite topics -- CHOICE, RESPECT, JUDICIAL ECONOMY ACCESS TO JUSTICE and EFFICIENT CASE MANAGEMENT. 

In part 3 of the video, Judge Williams discusses basic mediation concepts such as interest-based and distributive bargaining; impasse-breakers; trust-building; shuttle negotiation diplomacy; mediators' proposals and the like. 

If I missed Judge Williams saying "you have to hang the meat low enough for the dog to smell it," I'll apologize to him for inattention the next time I see him.  If he didn't say it, I'll be looking for the next part of the video, where gems like that may be found. 

If you wonder "why the orange?" -- listen to part 3.

Judge Helen Bendix, the Chair of the Los Angeles Superior Court ADR Committee, talks about the contribution of the Court's ADR program to the administration of Justice.  That program has not only settled thousands of cases, but has served as the training ground for thousands of mediators in assisting litigants in negotiating the resolution of their lawsuits. 

Co-Directors of the Straus Institute, Tom Stipanowich and Peter Robinson address mediation issues for the first part of this video.  If you want to go directly to Judge Bendix's discussion, move the slide bar to the middle of part 1.  


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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