I have been struggling with a few Mediator Proposals lately. At the point at which the parties invite me to propose the solution, typically the negotiations have threatened to break down, with a gap that would appear insurmountable. Often, it signals that the parties and their advocates are willing to leave their destiny to fate. Peter Adler, in his new book "Eye of the Storm Leadership", calls these breakdowns "not aberrations, but solutions in progress". A mediator's proposal is not supposed to reflect the likely jury result. That is a measure of fate, with a winner and a loser. It is high stakes, and high risk to both parties. The mediator's proposal, instead, is supposed to be a reflection of what will work to settle the conflict (the solution in progress): a measured consideration based upon a series of confidential communications reflecting the downsides on both sides of a conflict as well as the potential. I am no palm-reader, but when I arrive at a mediator's proposal that is accepted by both sides, I know that it is not reflective of a jury's deliberation, but of my own assessment of the likeliest solution to the conflict presented.
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.