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Real Lawyers Don't Eat Quiche

by Geoff Sharp
November 2008

From the blog mediator blah...blah...

Geoff Sharp

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.


Geoff Sharp is a Commercial Mediator from Wellington, New Zealand. Geoff works in the Asia Pacific region, including New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand and Pacific Islands. He is a mediator resolving business problems. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and mediates complex and hotly debated litigation covering a wide range of subject matter from insurance disputes to historic sexual abuse claims.

Geoff is author of the award winning blog mediator blah...blah... a mediation blog experiment in reflective practice and the Mediation vBlog Project, a kind of mediation genome project by video blog.

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Additional articles by Geoff Sharp