Mediation Philosophy and Beliefs
Mediation is an opportunity for constructive conflict management, not simply another settlement conference, or a substitute for arbitration. I regard myself as a guide for a flexible process, tailored to the unique needs of each case, party and counsel. This process supports values of transparency, inclusion, efficiency and freedom of choice.
- Inclusion: Wise and lasting settlements occur when parties feel a sense of authorship in the process and decision making. I encourage counsel to allow clients full involvement in mediation. I encourage clients to view counsel as excellent advisors as well as resources for the analysis of choices and decisions.
- Transparency: Trust is an essential part of the process. Parties (and counsel) must feel a sense of genuine opportunity to be heard and understood before they can reach settlements. They must harbor no reservations about a mediator's actions or motivations. Besides assuring all parties understand the process, it may be necessary to make disclosures parallel to those required of arbitrators.
- Efficiency: While an effective process requires some patience where communications cannot be rushed, we recognize that settlements must be pursued economically. I remain attentive to the progress and prospects of negotiations.
- Freedom of Choice: My focus is upon party/counsel satisfaction. I promote both the refinement of choices among the parties as well as decision making. It is in essence an impartial advisory role. I appreciate the substantive and stylistic differences between facilitative and evaluative approaches and will tailor an approach that works for each case.
- Mediation Standards: I fully subscribe to the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators of the American Bar Association, the Association for Conflict Resolution, and the American Arbitration Association, as well as the Mediator Standards and Principles of the California Dispute Resolution Council. These are available for review in my office.