Miles Mediation & Arbitration Services

ATLANTA OFFICE:
6 Concourse Pkwy., Suite 1950

Atlanta, GA 30328
(678) 320-9118

SAVANNAH OFFICE:
17 Park of Commerce Blvd.
Suite 301

Savannah, GA 31405
(912) 417-2879
All Fax: (404) 389-0831

January 26, 2014 No Comments
subtitles of mediation

Early in my career as a mediator, I believed that participants in mediation were motivated by money. The defendant wanted to settle for as little as possible, and the plaintiff wanted to get as much as he could. Certainly lawsuits involved emotional issues, primarily for plaintiffs. However, if the defendant offered enough money, the emotional issues vanished or were at least greatly minimized.

As mediator, my role was to create uncertainty on both sides. Juries are unpredictable. They may award more than the defendant wants to pay and less than the plaintiff is willing to accept. Better to compromise at mediation than to receive a disappointing verdict. While this strategy was often successful in assisting parties to settle their disputes, it failed to offer many participants what they really needed: the opportunity to be heard.

Before court dockets became clogged and litigation became too expensive, parties were heard at trial. Jury trials were a cost-effective way to resolve disputes. Trials not only resulted in closure but allowed parties to have their say. The purpose of this book is to demonstrate that mediation has become a superior method for allowing parties to present their claims and reach closure. Mediation has become A New Day in Court.

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January 22, 2014 No Comments
communication strategies

Communication drives mediation. Both the plaintiff and the defendant need to speak and be heard. Resolution requires that both parties use positive language.

Research has demonstrated that positive language enhances the mediation process. Conversely, negative language hinders mediation’s effectiveness. Negative language is particularly harmful to mediation because negotiation and mediation are essentially a process of joint decision making. The participant using negative language affects the emotions and decision making of the other parties. Negative language reduces the

other side’s willingness to cooperate and may even encourage the opposition to terminate the mediation just to avoid the negative energy. Defense attorneys and insurance adjusters who use positive language are more likely to bring a mediation to a successful conclusion, particularly when dealing with a plaintiff who is motivated by anger or justice. The defense can benefit from positive language even if the mediation does not reach a successful conclusion.

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