Every once in a while I am reminded of the importance of staying in mediation beyond when you want to.  In its extreme version, wanting to be done evidences itself as either impatience or a stated view that there is no way the case will settle and that time is being wasted.

I know that lawyers and their clients are always assessing their prospects in mediation, and it is common to view things as bleak when you don't like the pace of negotiations.  I tell people all the time to keep negotiating as long as the other side is their negotiating with you, no matter how bleak it may look.

Many cases have settled simply because the parties stayed in the process beyond when they wanted to be done.  Remember, it is hard to start the mediation at the end and we often have to wait longer than we want to for the process to achieve a constructive result.

Richard Lord
Upchurch Watson White & Max
July, 2011

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