Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What Do You Look For In A Mediator If I Want A Successful Settlement?

Experience as an in-house attorney would be a good mediator trait. For a mediator to get a successful settlement his focus must be on reestablishing the business relationship. This requires a number of key characteristics that in-house counsel is most likely to possess.

First, the mediator has to understand the nature of business relationships; living among them daily certainly helps. You must have the skill and desire to learn about the nature of the business in which the dispute arises. The parties can teach you about the business and most likely will have to since it may not be one in which the mediator has direct experience, but the mediator must have the knowledge base and skill to ask the questions that drives the education.

Second, the mediator must have the facility for and enjoy solving business problems. If mediator does not want to listen to how these businesses are built and operate and can only focus on the legal issues and a legal solution, you may get a settlement, but it almost certainly will not be successful. Businessmen understand that winning a lawsuit against your best customer may not be the best long term solution to the dispute.

-Larry Salibra
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