First, the Mediator must "do no harm" to the process, the parties or the dispute. In this regard, I only take on disputes that I have the background, experience, training and time to handle. I do not give up hope on the parties or process, no matter, how difficult or challenging it is or becomes and I continue to work to resolve disputes until they are resolved or the Parties “tell me to go away”.
Every mediation is different and the approach taken by the mediator must be individually tailored to each set of factual and legal circumstances, present and past relationship among the Project participants, the evaluation of counsel, along with the type and number of Parties. For this reason, I start every mediation process with a pre-mediation conference call with all counsel to start to become familiar with the dispute including input and recommendations from counsel. Thereafter, I hold individual ex-parte calls with each Party and its counsel. Thereafter, in conjunction with counsel, we develop the schedule and content of the submissions, agree upon the structure and format of the mediation conference itself and get buy-in from everyone on the overall approach that will be used for that particular mediation.
In conjunction with counsel for the parties, we work to develop a customized process based upon: 1) the nature of the dispute(s), 2) the status of development of the case, 3) the suggestions and requests of counsel, 4) role of insurance (if any), and 5) my ever evolving perception of the techniques and approaches that are most likely to produce a resolution of the dispute. As appropriate, I hold ex parte, pre-mediation conference calls with each party and additional joint conference calls, as necessary and/or requested. With respect to the mediation conference itself, as appropriate, I use a combination of facilitated fact exploration, party and expert presentations, coupled with selective and strategic issues, claim and damage evaluations, to nurture and support the parties' settlement negotiations. My extensive experience in the industry as a neutral, advocate, teacher and contract negotiator allows me to adapt my style on a case-by-case basis to the needs of the parties and the nature of the disputes at issue.
I believe that every dispute can benefit from the mediation process, provided that it is set for a time in the dispute when all parties can be ready to participate in a meaningful in-person negotiation process. In my experience, it is essential that the mediator become thoroughly familiar with the parties, the dispute, the law and the background materials before the in-person conference. The mediator must help lead and coordinate the process, and must never give up on the process or the parties. My goal is always to achieve a "global settlement" of all issues. However, if it appears that impasse is likely towards the end of the face-to-face process, and a global settlement does not appear achievable, I will settle claims piecemeal and use it as a vehicle for motivating the parties to address and resolve the remaining claims. Finally, if all of the claims do not get resolved during the face-to-face mediation conference, I will always follow up with telephone conferences thereafter. As a mediator, my approach is to ruthlessly pursue the resolution of the dispute and end the litigation or arbitration process.
1675 Broadway, Suite 2100
Denver, CO 80202
Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm MST
Saturday - Sunday: Closed