Each dispute is unique in some way, and this remains true for me after well over a thousand mediations. I believe each must be handled differently, with a flexible style that takes into account the specific dynamics of the individual case. Many disputes involve claims and issues that overlap different subject matter categories. For example, I conducted a mediation in one case in which the parties’ relationships included a partnership agreement as well as a commercial lease, and the disputes involved both of these as well as allegations of battery. An employment case can include nonpayment of wages, bonuses or commissions as well as counterclaims for misuse of trade secrets in the establishment of a competing business and claims of embezzlement of funds or misrepresenting profits in order to increase bonus calculations. In some mediations disputes within one “side” in effect require a second, separate mediation to allow that side to approach the negotiations constructively.
Many complex relationships arise in settings discussed below under the heading Partnership, Corporate Board and Family Disputes. Settling these disputes requires an understanding of each of the claims and how the facts and law for each impact the others, an appreciation of the emotional and other non-legal elements of the conflict, and persistence in moving the discussions towards an agreement.
I am presenting here a description of the kinds of disputes that I have mediated or arbitrated in the past to provide a sense of the issues with which I have dealt in those cases. While confidentiality obligations prevent me from discussing the details of any mediation, I am happy to discuss my experience in general terms. Please contact me with questions.