Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

The Value of “Perspective Taking” in Mediation

September 2022 Bar Bulletin

By Rick Gautschi Mediator and Arbitrator at Pacific ADR

Imagine the following scenario: During the mediation of an employment dispute, the mediator has just concluded an initial session with the defendant employer and its attorney. The mediator announces that he will leave the employer’s representatives and its attorney to go meet with the plaintiff employee and her attorney.

As the mediator is leaving the room, the employer’s attorney says, “When you meet with Ms. X (the employee’s attorney), please tell her that I don’t think much of her client’s case.” Subsequently, the mediator asks Ms. X about her view of the case. Ms. X carefully and...

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