By Joe Hadden

 The beginning of a prizefight is surprisingly similar to the beginning of a mediation. The parties warily circle, testing each other with light jabs; evaluating each other before the heavy punching begins. The goals, however, are radically different.

In a fight, each party vies to be the winner and leave their opponent insensible on the canvas. In mediation, the goal of each party is to achieve a result favorable to his or her interests.

There are, of course, no knockouts in mediation. Mediations assist parties with widely divergent views of value, to negotiate: constantly evaluating numbers on the table with the probable range of jury verdicts, coupled with the time and cost to obtain such a verdict, frosted with the uncertainties inherent in a trial.

If mediations were held in a ring, a successful bout would be achieved when both parties held up, and touched gloves; signifying an agreement wherein both parties accepted partial satisfaction of their goals in return for a certain end to the dispute on terms both were willing to accept.

 Continue reading – Page 18 December issue of CITATIONS

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