So in the inevitable corridor time, well into the afternoon of a mediation this week, one of the lawyers who I had last seen when I was at my law firm in the 1990's says to me; "So Geoff, when did you give up real law?"
At this point, two answers are possible; one for a valued and hopefully future consumer of mediation services; 'ha! I haven't had to open a law book since 1998'.
The other would work if you are intent on committing professional suicide and I could have said; 'Well, you know Brian, there's a lot of paddling under the water for us mediators. I have to very quickly understand how you twist your square causation argument into the round hole of the law and test you on it. Before I can do that though, I need to actually know the law and have a good eye for legal BS so I can ask you, in the nicest possible way, to explain it to me again so others at the table just might pick up the soft spots I got, but they missed, on your first run through'.
A much more erudite discussion on this problem is to be found at Mediation in the mainstream: the problem of observability and What, exactly, does the mediator DO? and What, exactly, does the mediator do? Part Deux.