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<xTITLE>Taking a Fresh New Look at Conflict</xTITLE>

Taking a Fresh New Look at Conflict

by Jan Frankel Schau
January 2015

Jan Frankel Schau's Mediation Blog

Jan Frankel Schau

The New Year is a great time to push “refresh” on all subjects. I spent the last week going through my (now adult) children’s closets and getting rid of the things that we will no longer return to: huge computer systems with no screens or monitors, outdated televisions which can’t play cable, the expensive, must-have tennis shoes that every boy needed in High School a decade ago. I also took the last week or two to purge old paper work (as my son says–no modern businesses even use “file cabinets” these days).

And so I am ready to begin the year “fresh” and in doing so, to look at my mediation cases differently as well. I have listened to the discussion on “self-determination” and bringing back the joint session and intend to at least offer the opportunity for my clients to engage in an informed discussion about the design of the mediation process itself, not merely the outcome. I also hope that when my lawyer/readers return to their offices in this New Year, they too can take a step back to see which cases cry out for litigation and which demand mediation: a chance to engage a fresh set of eyes and ears to offer a third perspective which may be different from the adversarial and dyadic view held by only two sides of a conflict.

In what ways does this New Year bring you fresh perspectives on conflict?


Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the needs of their representatives with the risk and expenses of trial. Those who have used Ms. Schau’s services recognize excellence in her persistence, optimism, creativity and integrity.

Ms. Schau was the President of the Southern California Mediation Association in 2007 and is recognized as among the most outstanding mediators in Southern California in the mediation of civil disputes by her peers and clients. She also serves as a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and has presided as Chair of it’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and Litigation Section. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Skills in Negotiation from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution of Pepperdine University as well as from the Western Law Center for Disability Rights at Loyola Law School.

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