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Friend and mediator Charles Parselle recently sent along this brief but telling mediation vignette.

CCP 1942 tenant v. landlord action.

Pl: This is a no-brainer. 175k

Def: They must be (expletive deleted) joking, offer 5k

Pl: They don’t understand the law. 134k

Def: This has only nuisance value. 20k

Pl: We are certain to get an award of attorney fees. Atty fees are 75k and counting.

Def: They are liars. Atty fees cannot exceed 10k

Mediator: Let’s deal with atty fees separately.

Pl: OK. 50k plus atty fees. (At this point, fees not specified.)

Def: No, we won’t settle piecemeal. 30k total.

Mediator: Hmm.

Def: 45k is our absolute max.

Mediator: How about 50? It’s an emotional number.

Def: (Thinks deeply). We will never offer it. But if they demand it, we will accept. Offer good for 10 minutes.

Pl: Good grief. Must talk with client privately and call co-counsel.

Mediator: Takes break and contemplates universal peace.

Pl: OK, 50k

Def: OK, 50k


Victoria Pynchon

Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all… MORE >

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