“Clean Language” Is Not What You Think.

Yesterday, Multnomah County Court treated its mediators to a seminar on “Clean Language.”   It was not about avoiding F-Bombs.  Hell no.  “Clean language” is a method of listening, facilitation and gathering information that seeks to minimize “interference” from the facilitator’s… Continue Reading

Half-hour Mediation Prevents Malpractice Lawsuit.

True story. Cara (not her real name) “knew” her Portland lawyer, “Paul,” had malpracticed because another lawyer had confirmed her suspicion that Paul screwed up. Cara called me to see if I would sue her lawyer and / or take… Continue Reading

Not Exactly a Picnic.

The court file screamed, CONSTITUTIONALIST, POSSE COMMITATUS, and, most importantly for a mediator, NO COMPROMISE. The “natural born citizen” challenged everything from the authority of the court, to proper service, to some of the most fundamental rules of law by… Continue Reading

Three mediator tools that I used last week.

Last week, Defendant’s initial counteroffer was about three percent (yes, 3%!) of the plaintiff’s initial offer.  Would the young, first-time plaintiff explode with anger and despair?  Especially after she shared her emotional, painful story for which she blamed defendant? Tool… Continue Reading

Big news! Employment Law Mediation Instead of Litigation.

After nearly one year as a mediator and 40 mediations, I have stopped representing either employers or employees as an attorney.  Now, for employment law, I serve only as an impartial mediator.  I hope you will consider me the next… Continue Reading

What Makes a Good Mediator?

What are the desirable traits of a mediator?  I reviewed five articles on the topic and came up with five characteristics.  Although people use different words, the concepts are fairly consistent from survey to survey. *  “Humanity” encompasses some characteristics… Continue Reading

Understanding-Based Model of Mediation

Gary Friedman and Catherine Conner led the five-day, 40+ hour mediation intensive class in Spring 2012 in Marin County, California. Gary Friedman has been a mediation leader for decades, having taught and practiced mediation for over 30 years. He has… Continue Reading

Understanding-Based Model of Mediation, Part 1

Gary Friedman leads the 40-hour intensive mediation training that I will attend this week. He’s a proponent of what he and co-author Jack Himmelstein call the Understanding-Based Model of Mediation.* Four principles guide this approach. The first and, by far,… Continue Reading

When Impasse Occurs, Normalize it for the Parties.

Last Friday, I enjoyed an all-day mediation training entitled, Impasse-Breaking and Ethics: Tips, Tricks, Traps and Tools, by Sam Imperati. Sam used his playful demeanor to keep us engaged while he worked through his points. He made many points, too… Continue Reading