Mediation Articles

Mike Ludwig

Employment Law Mediator

Five Biggest Mistakes I See In Mediations

Five Biggest Mistakes I See In Mediations

In this article, I cover five mistakes that can lead to a less effective mediation, and how to avoid them.

I am fortunate in my mediation practice to work with some of the best attorneys around.

But no one’s perfect.

A few mistakes I see from time to time inspired me to bring these issues front and center and talk about how we can mediate more effectively.

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The Best Reason to Settle? Getting the Parties Their Time Back

The Best Reason to Settle? Getting the Parties Their Time Back

One often underappreciated yet compelling reason to settle at mediation or otherwise is time.

Why is it underappreciated?

Because people tend to overestimate short-term pain (settling for an amount that is higher or lower than they expected) and underestimate long-term pain (future time spent litigating or even trying the case).

By settling, the parties make a financial decision in the present that effectively buys them time and peace of mind in the future.

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Sending the Right Messages in Mediation

Sending the Right Messages in Mediation

Mediators often advise parties to use strategic offers and demands to send positive and encouraging messages instead of messages of unreasonableness. Cooperation and reciprocity are powerful concepts in mediation and in settlement negotiations in general. A slightly bolder offer or demand, instead of an intentionally unreasonable one, can send a productive and hopeful message.

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The Role of The Truth in Mediation

The Role of The Truth in Mediation

Most often in mediation, the parties’ stories diverge at some point. In some cases, the stories diverge in big ways. A critical document either was or was not received or was or was not signed. Or maybe it was fabricated altogether! A discriminatory or harassing statement either was or was not made. Sometimes the stories diverge in smaller but still significant ways. Both sides might have slightly different recollections of how a particular conversation went. Who said what? Who initiated the conversation? Was the tone cordial or hostile? When did it happen?

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Why I May Be the Mediator for You

Why I May Be the Mediator for You

How do you choose the mediator for your dispute? And where do I fit in? Goat cheese marionberry habanero is one of the latest flavors at a local ice cream shop (shout out to Salt & Straw!). They also have pear and blue cheese, honey lavender, and more. When I was...

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Surviving the Insult Round in Mediation

Surviving the Insult Round in Mediation

In mediation, the “insult round” refers to an opening demand being way too high and the first counteroffer way too low.

For better or worse, the insult round lives on in the mediation of employment disputes in California.

Is that a problem? Not necessarily.

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Why It Is Essential That You Work With a Mediator

Why It Is Essential That You Work With a Mediator

Decades ago, when I started practicing employment law, mediation was around but it was not ubiquitous like it is now.

Today, few employment disputes are settled the old-fashioned way, with the attorneys negotiating directly with one another and without a mediator.

What changed? I have some thoughts.

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