About Us

Victoria Pynchon

As the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, I offer my services as a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant....

She Mediates

ADR Services, Inc.

She Negotiates

She Negotiates

The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

Do You REALLY Want Me to Be Evaluative?

michaelCarbone.jpgThis just in from one of my colleagues at ADR Services, Inc., Michael P. Carbone. Good stuff and an excellent mediator for commercial real estate and construction dispute litigation.

A mistake that lawyers sometimes make is failing to ask for what they want.  If they do want an evaluation they can ask for it when they hire the neutral. There are processes variously known as neutral evaluation, non-binding arbitration, or early case assessment which are designed specifically for this purpose.  They can be used independently or they can be combined with mediation.
 
I was once hired to give a neutral evaluation in a commercial real estate case.  The parties told me at the outset that while they were interested in exploring settlement they were really interested in my opinion on the merits.  So we conducted a mediation that included a neutral evaluation.  Not only did this meet their needs, the evaluation was given in a confidential setting and could not be used as evidence if they did not settle.
 
The point is that both parties wanted the process to be evaluative.  It was not a situation where one party was expecting the mediator to be evaluative and the other party wanted the mediator to refrain from doing so.
 
When parties hire a mediator, they need to be of the same mind about the process. Otherwise the result will be like splitting a steak with your partner when one of you likes it rare and the other likes it well done. Somebody is going to get indigestion!

Comments (1)

Read through and enter the discussion by using the form at the end
Christopher G. Hill - March 26, 2011 11:10 AM

Great thoughts. As a litigator most of my mediation experience is in the evaluateve context. Both sides are trying one last time to settle a matter between them and the attorneys are convinced that a third party opinion is what may be necessary.

I do agree that it needs to be a two way understanding.

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