Methods and Procedures Used by Mr. Sankary
Extensive Education, Training and Experience to Resolve Disputes
Mr. Sankary has extensive training in mediation from one of the premier conflict resolution centers in the country – the Straus Institute of Conflict Resolution at Pepperdine Law School. Mr. Sankary is also a graduate of Harvard Law School (1965) and has practiced law in Los Angeles for over 36 years. He teaches “Negotiations Strategies in Mediation” at USC Marshal School of Business, and is a frequent lecturer on this subject to lawyers and mediators at the State Bar of California.
Mr. Sankary is the only attorney and mediator who is a Cialdini Method Certified Trainer received in 2004.
In addition, Mr. Sankary is the only attorney who has been personally trained and certified by the renowned social scientist, Dr. Robert Cialdini, the Regents Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, to present workshops based upon Dr. Cialdini’s breakthrough ideas on the Principles of Persuasion – the science and practice of persuasion. Dr. Cialdini is the author of the best selling book, “Influence; Science and Practice.” See Mr. Sankary’s website, www.UsingInfluence.com for more information about this new and developing area of persuasion.
The following are the steps typically used by Mr. Sankary in convening and conducting the mediation:
1. Communicate in writing and/or by phone with all parties to the dispute to find a mutually convenient date and time for convening the mediation. I request and obtain a commitment that all persons who have final decision making authority will attend the mediation and agree to devote as much time as reasonably necessary to reach an agreement if at all possible.
2. Obtain Mediation and Confidentiality Agreements from each party setting forth the terms of the mediation and assuring privacy and confidentiality. This includes a provision concerning the fee arrangement and how the fee will be paid by the parties.
3. Invite each of the parties to send or bring any materials to the mediator that they believe are relevant and important to supporting their point of view concerning the dispute.
4. Invite any party to contact the mediator to discuss any matter relating to the dispute. One of the benefits of mediation (as opposed to arbitration and judicial proceedings) is that any party can have direct, private and confidential communications with the mediator about the dispute at any time. As a mediator, I am committed to keeping communications in confidence unless I am permitted to disclose the information to the other parties.
5. Maintain impartiality and neutrality at all times. I do not make negative judgments about any party and I keep an open mind throughout the mediation process so that I can accurately understand the point of view of each of the parties.
6. Any party may be represented by an attorney, or by any consultant or advisor. A party may attend the mediation without an attorney. I urge all parties to prepare for the mediation so that they will not waste their time or the time of the other parties.
7. The mediation usually starts at the time and day selected when everyone arrives. On occasion, I may meet with parties who have arrived early if I feel it is appropriate. Sometimes I may start by meeting only with the attorneys if everyone is represented.
8. In our joint session, I request that each of the parties tell his or her story and the reasons whey they believe the result or solution they propose is fair and supported by the law. I request that each of the other parties listen respectfully and reply only when it is their turn. After everyone has had an opportunity to tell their point of view, I will invite one of the parties to meet with me privately.
9. In the private meeting with one of the parties, I will discuss the facts presented in the joint sessions and ascertain what solution or proposal the party suggests as a way of settling the dispute. My approach is to help each of the parties in a confidential and private meeting discuss their best negotiating strategy to achieve what they want in light of the claims made by the other parties. If it is appropriate for the party to make a proposal to the other parties, I will carry that proposal to the other side and explain why the proposal is made and why the party believes it is fair, serves their interest and is supported by the law.
10. This process will continue with each of the parties. Sometimes it takes a few hours to carry back and forth various proposals and counterproposals. Where appropriate I will make suggestions about what I think would help settle the dispute. NO one is obligated to accept any proposal. Any party may leave at any time. My job is to help explain the consequences if there is no agreement and what might occur if the dispute proceeds to arbitration or to trial. I draw upon my experience of more than 35 years as a lawyer both in litigation and transactional law to help parties clearly understand their choices.
11. In most cases, the dispute will settle that day, and an agreement or outline will be prepared and signed by the parties. In those cases which do not settle that day, I continue to work with the parties after the mediation as long as they are willing to work on the problem to reach a settlement. In some cases, the parties have agreed to return to my office to continue the negotiations after they have obtained more information needed in order to clarify some facts or to review the applicable law. In most cases, the dispute will settle at the second meeting.
12. Generally, my styles of mediation are known as collaborative, strategic, evaluative, principled and transformative. I also use decision making models based upon the work of Dr. Howard Raiffa, Emeritus Professor, Harvard Business School in assisting lawyers and their clients to find an optimal solution for their needs and interests.