“When we see through the eyes of others it exposes key information – assumptions, prejudices, values and needs all essential to finding solutions. It can deepen our understanding of problems, often offering more solutions.”
Francis Moore Lappe
Finding Common Ground
A successful mediator is one that finds common ground even when solutions seem totally unattainable.
As a mediator of disputes I bring my skills in active listening, collaborative law and peacebuilding to litigants who seek to resolve their conflict and find closure. Too often litigation can go on for years, cost thousands of dollars and have an emotional impact on both sides. The “us vs them” nature of the adversarial process too often does little to build understanding or achieve justice. My nearly 40 years as a trial lawyer can help the parties recognize the realities of proceeding to court. Mediation is a private, voluntary and confidential process outside a courtroom that leaves the final decision up to the conflicting parties rather than a stranger – often an over-extended Judge with his or her own biases or opinions.
Through being involved in hundreds of settlements, I have helped craft both financial and creative non-economic terms that restore a sense of balance to a conflict and help people reach a durable agreement. Through work with Truth and Reconciliation processes in both South Africa and Korea I have seen how the acknowledgment of differing truths and providing a safe environment to share each sides’ experiences and perspectives can bring closure and resolution. As Gandhi, himself a lawyer for over 20 years in South Africa, said ““My joy was boundless. I had learned to find out the better side of human nature and to enter man’s hearts…to unite parties driven asunder.”
Contact me to discuss rates for mediation services.
Sliding scales and Zoom mediations available.
In mediation I use valuable communication tools first introduced in my 1994 book Labor and Employment in New Mexico: A Desktop Guide to Employment Law.