Mediation News

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In her blog below, Phyllis Pollack extolls the need for preparation. I have the following suggestions for what that means. First, start early! Do so by identifying jury instructions applicable to your case. These are explicit guides to what you need to prove and where mediators may focus. Then identify local jury verdicts which demonstrate how juries have responded to similar cases.

Identify the sources of the proof you need. Analyze not just how each will be presented, but what objections you may encounter. A “smoking gun” document will do you no good if you have no way of introducing it into evidence, or if a motion ad limine will prevent you from doing so.

Focus on neutral witnesses and the potential credibility they would have to a mediator or to the other side. Write your mediation statements sparingly, focusing on your strengths and the other side’s vulnerabilities. Above all, tell your client’s story. The law is interesting, but stories are more so. Address your obvious weaknesses thoughtfully, but avoid exaggeration.

Look for opportunities to seek agreement on relatively minor matters. Outside career counseling or agreed-upon responses to pre-employment inquiries are not only inherently valuable, agreement on them creates investment in the process and the momentum which regularly leads to a complete settlement.

Prepare your client. Take time to explain what mediation is, how the process works and how to respond to the mediator’s questions. Have a plan for your offers or demands. Each mediation has a focus and flow of its own, so prepare your client for the unexpected. Plan for you and your client to work late; doing so does not guarantee a settlement, but it makes it more likely.

~ Dave Smullin

JULY 2018

Featured Articles 

Leaving Facebook
by Colin Rule
I was a fan of Facebook from my first login. I registered right after it opened to the public in 2006, and I led most of my friends onto the platform. I am now choosing to leave Facebook.

Turning Ideas Into Action; Thoughts from Edinburgh
by Bruce Edwards
What is unique about those who possess a willingness to walk toward conflict?

Comparative Data on Mediation Websites: Most Visited and Most Linked
According to, is most visited and most linked dispute resolution website. See the new data here!

7 Reasons Why You Should Keep Communicating
by Trevor McDonald
Miscommunication plagues divorces in numerous different ways.

ODR for All: Digital Accessibility and Disability Accommodations in Online Dispute Resolution
by David Larson and Lainey Feingold
The promise of online dispute resolution (ODR) depends on accessibility.

Mediation in the News

With execution looming, victim's son meets his father's murderer
Mitesh Patel, whose story of forgiveness and activism has received national attention, met his father’s murderer in mediation Monday, the day before the man is to be executed.

Police officers learn more on mediation
The Toronto Police Department is hosting a one week Community Mediation Training for seventy police officers. Officers from the ranks of Inspectors to constables are taking the training.

Mediation best way to avert global trade war
Given the escalating situation it would be ideal for the WTO to intervene as it has a defined dispute resolution mechanism that may be adjudicative or reconciliatory.

Commercial Mediation Market shoots up with 20% growth
The key finding from the 2018 CEDR Mediation Audit for the UK is that 12,000 commercial mediations (excluding small claims mediations) were performed in the last 12 months, an increase of 20% on 2016.

Safe Streets' Violence Interrupters Work To Mediate Conflict
Baltimore City's Safe Streets program operates with violence interrupters -- people who try to help others resolve conflict without picking up guns.

Read All News 

Dave Smullin

See Testimonials at:
Phone: (650) 941-4600
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Featured Blog Posts

Establishing Rapport in Mediation 
Dan Simon

When Teachers, Parents, and Students are Victims of Stockholm Syndrome 
Dr. Jacqueline Burnett-Brown

Being Grateful for Some Conflicts 
Cinnie Noble

Ask Yourself This Kind of Question When an Argument Rattles You 
Tammy Lenski

In Isolation Together
Peter Adler and Nicole Brodie


Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone may be looking.

Commandment Number One of any truly civilized society is this: Let people be different.

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

An idea is a feat of association.

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