Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Can A Business Man Get A Successful Settlement?

A business man certainly has the business credentials; however, once the dispute has become heavily entangled in the litigation process, the mediator has to manage the legal expectations of the advocates as well as the business issues, and without real trial experience the business man and, even an in-house attorney without this experience, are at a serious handicap.

The lawyers for the parties in a lawsuit are not typically engaged to think about a business solution to the case—their focus is on prevailing in the dispute. They are important players in the litigation and exercise a great deal of influence and control over their clients. Once the business relationship breaks down, the businessman turns to lawyers in part because they are convinced they no longer have the ability to control events. That results in a large psychological dependence on the lawyer and the mediator must have the lawyer invested in the process and have her trust, particularly if mediator thinks it is time for the lawyers to step back and let the business men have another chance at reconciliation.

A mediator with real litigation experience will be able to establish an empathy with the lawyers for the parties that is hard to duplicate with out that shared experience of battle.

-Lary Salibra
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