Mediator/Professor Tries to Model Patience, Diplomacy for Students

Brandon Peters brings more than two decades of experience as a highly-respected civil litigator to his mediation career, which began with a successful solo practice and continues with Upchurch Watson White & Max. He takes a data- and evidence-driven approach to resolving disputes without ignoring the all-important human factors. To schedule a mediation with Brandon, please call his case manager, Cathy McCleary, at (800) 863-1462, or visit our online calendar.

Florida Mediator Brandon S. Peters Florida Mediator Brandon S. Peters

Last weekend, I attended a picnic sponsored by Florida A&M University College of Law. One of my students came over to the table where I was working and introduced me to her significant other. The young man told me that my student had been encouraging him to use some of the negotiation strategies we had recently been discussing in class to address an issue that had arisen at his workplace. (Could it be that I am actually making an impact?)

A few days before the picnic, I was in the law school library, checking out my course textbook, when I saw one of my older students. He introduced me to his teenage son, who was tagging along with his dad for the day. As I walked away from the two of them, back toward my office, I heard my student tell his son, “Professor Peters is a great guy.” That made me feel really good.

In case you are wondering why I was checking out the course textbook, I will indulge your curiosity.

We are now four weeks into the Semester, and the publisher has not yet sent me my faculty edition of the text I selected. I find myself at a crossroads: Should I make waves or make do?

I have chosen the latter course of action. So, I go to the law school library and check out the student edition. I supplement that reading with online materials obtained by a helpful member of the school’s staff.

Sometimes I wish had been endowed with more patience to manage life’s smaller aggravations. I try to stay focused on the positive developments in my new academic endeavors; like the fact that I seem to be connecting with my students. But even that accomplishment feels tainted – a certain vendor still has not furnished me the information I need to access an online tool that faculty members routinely use to communicate with students.

However, because I know my class watches me closely (just as the participants at a mediation conference), I have to set a good example. I must display absolute professionalism. After all, I am a practicing professional neutral, teaching a course about mediation. It would be unseemly for me to be anything less than completely diplomatic about difficulties that I cannot avoid and over which I have no control.

For the previous installment of Brandon’s adventures at FAMU, please click here.

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