New Law on Settlement Agreements

A new California law effective January 1, 2020 governs settlement agreement language regarding employment dismissals and rehires. An employer and employee can still agree that a settlement includes termination of employment, but the agreement cannot include language that the person is barred from re-employment. The legislative history of AB749 shows that the motive behind the law was […]

JOY TO THE WORLD – LAW PARTNERS’ YEAR-END MEETING

Joy to The world! Year-end has come, Accounting has totaled the fees. Let ev’ry heart prepare him room And all of the partners sing And all of the partners sing And all, all of the partners sing Joy to the world! The year was good, And now divide the spoils. Misters Fields and Floods have […]

Knowledge Management

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT – CREATING A MEDIATORS LIST Every organization should have a process for creating a collective memory. It’s called knowledge management. Knowledge management preserves team members’ experiences so everyone on that team can access them. This efficiency avoids mistakes and duplication of effort. Still, it is not uncommon for people considering mediation to send […]

Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men

You’re sure to hear this phrase repeatedly in December. What are you doing to make it happen? Most readers of this message are professionals charged with managing disputes. You may spend a considerable amount of time strategizing how to annul the opposing party’s claims. That’s appropriate. It’s your job. But what practically every party involved […]

Mediation Opening Statements

Times have changed. In the past, mediators would open a mediation by asking for opening statements from lawyers for each party. Problem was, though, these were typically so inflammatory that a meeting which was supposed to be about resolution started with animosity. Sometimes one side walked out right then, before the real mediation even started. That’s […]

The Importance of Facts

A big part of a mediator’s job is to elicit and isolate relevant facts. Then we can determine points of agreement and disagreement. Mediations come in two basic types: – Parties agree on the facts but disagree on how to interpret them – Parties disagree on the facts Model 1: We Agree on the Facts, […]

The Last-Minute Report

On several occasions, counsel has appeared for mediation with an expert report dated the day before. Often this attorney has not served a copy of the report on opposing counsel. Nor did the advocate attach this document to the mediation brief. What effect does this report have at mediation? I have never seen a last-minute […]

A Mediation Quiz

Find out how much you really know about mediation with this short True/False quiz. 1. Opposing parties meet together with the mediator in caucus. T/F 2. No one can use documents disclosed solely in mediation as evidence if the case does not settle. T/F 3. If parties are unable to agree on settlement terms, the mediator will decide […]