Find Mediators Near You:


From the Blog of Phyllis G. Pollack.

“. . . Everybody wants a thrill
Payin’ anything to roll the dice
Just one more time
Some will win
Some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on. . .”
(“Don’t Stop Believin’”, Journey© 1978)  

      In mediation, the subject of what will happen if the dispute does not settle almost always comes up. In negotiation lingo, this issue is known as BATNA — Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement — a term coined by Roger Fisher and William Ury in Getting To Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In (1981). If the dispute is in litigation, one of the consequences or BATNA’s to not settling may be going to trial. Both the mediator and counsel will invariably discuss the positive and negative aspects of trial. But, chances are their own discussion will be more sophisticated and not nearly as lyrical nor as cryptic as Journey’s song: “Everybody wants a thrill. . . some will win, some will lose. . .oh the [trial] never ends. . . it goes on and on and on. . .”


      I do not write this tongue-in-cheek but in a serious vein. I read these lyrics the other day and suddenly realized they apply equally to a trial: Some will win, some will lose . . and trials can go on and on and on. . . . Just think about all of the appeals and remands.

       The purpose of mediation is to resolve the issues: to obtain certainty in the results, to take the “. . . roll of the dice” out of the situation, to stop the movie from going “on and on and on. . . .”

      Without knowing it, Journey pinpointed what BATNA is all about, in words that we can all understand. . . .and to a tune that we can all hum.

           . . . Just something to think about.    


Phyllis Pollack

Phyllis Pollack with PGP Mediation uses a facilitative, interest-based approach. Her preferred mediation style is facilitative in the belief that the best and most durable resolutions are those achieved by the parties themselves. The parties generally know the business issues and priorities, personalities and obstacles to a successful resolution as… MORE >

Featured Mediators

View all

Read these next


Teaching Students to Think Like Practitioners

Indisputably People often say that dispute resolution processes aren’t “one size fits all.”  When practitioners are asked to opine about hypothetical problems, they often say “it depends” and they make...

By John Lande

Covid Exasperates Issues Between Co-parents About Agency

Covid-19 certainly does exasperate the challenge of co-parenting post-separation. Co-parents regularly face a number of stressors related to their interpersonal interaction, but also to their individual circumstances and life. Before...

By Aaron Leakey

What About Your Furry Friends?

Mediation and Business Consulting by Kathleen Kauth.Pets are an important part of many of our lives.  Older adults especially benefit from having the companionship and affection of a furry friend....

By Kathleen Kauth