Stay up to date on everything mediation!

Subscribe to our free newsletter,
"This Week in Mediation"

Sign Up Now

Already subscribed No subscription today
Mediate.com

Do you REALLY Want Me to be Evaluative?

by Victoria Pynchon
March 2011

From Victoria Pynchon's Settle It Now Negotiation and ABC of Conflict Blog

Victoria Pynchon

This just in from one of my colleagues at ADR Services, Inc., Michael P. Carbone. Good stuff and an excellent mediator for commercial real estate and construction dispute litigation.

A mistake that lawyers sometimes make is failing to ask for what they want. If they do want an evaluation they can ask for it when they hire the neutral. There are processes variously known as neutral evaluation, non-binding arbitration, or early case assessment which are designed specifically for this purpose. They can be used independently or they can be combined with mediation.

I was once hired to give a neutral evaluation in a commercial real estate case. The parties told me at the outset that while they were interested in exploring settlement they were really interested in my opinion on the merits. So we conducted a mediation that included a neutral evaluation. Not only did this meet their needs, the evaluation was given in a confidential setting and could not be used as evidence if they did not settle.

The point is that both parties wanted the process to be evaluative. It was not a situation where one party was expecting the mediator to be evaluative and the other party wanted the mediator to refrain from doing so.

When parties hire a mediator, they need to be of the same mind about the process. Otherwise the result will be like splitting a steak with your partner when one of you likes it rare and the other likes it well done. Somebody is going to get indigestion!

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. 



Email Author
Website: www.settlenow.com

Additional articles by Victoria Pynchon

Comments