Caldwell & Kearns, P.C.
877-490-6665 717-743-1682

Protecting clients in the most complex legal disputes

Using mediation to create the ‘win-win’ result

One of the standard selling points for mediation (in addition to its time and cost savings, and the control retained by the parties) is the possibility of a "win-win" scenario unlike the zero sum game of litigation, where one side's sweet victory is usually the other's bitter loss. However, for parties locked in a contentious cycle with one another, it is often difficult to imagine how both can win. Working with a skilled mediator, it is our job as attorneys to find those opportunities and develop them through the mediation process. ADR/Mediation

To create the "win-win" outcome, careful attention must be paid not only to the spoken goals and motivation of the opposing parties, but also to any hidden agendas they may have. If a dollar figure is at issue, what does the party seeking the dollars need to accomplish with those funds? Can it be accomplished another way (for example, forgiveness of a debt or assignment of a liability)? Does the other party have something else to offer in lieu of money? Is there a third party with a motivation to add funds to the pot to see the dispute resolved? Can existing agreements be amended to create a new direction toward more favorable results in the business relationship of the parties?

Both as mediators and as advocates for parties in the mediation process, our attorneys can recite numerous examples of mediations where thinking through the types of questions set forth above, as well as other questions the mediator may pose as the process unfolds, have led to resolutions that leave all parties at the table satisfied with an outcome that they have crafted themselves, often over the span of one single day. Such outcomes are often, sadly, unavailable within the structure of a standard trial.

Next time: "Mediating From A Position of Strength".

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Caldwell & Kearns, P.C.
3631 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110-1533

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