"Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives." - Abba Eban
MY PHILOSOPHY ABOUT THE MEDIATIVE PROCESS
I am a full time mediator, emphasizing the following high-emotion, cross-cultural disputes:
In my practice, which I call “dirt, buildings and the people who handle them”, I work with disputants and their advisors to openly discuss their differences, identify and explore alternative settlement choices and assist in creatively shaping solutions to their disputes.
SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Conflicts, especially about property and inheritance rights and obligations, as well as claims against professionals and building contractors, often involve intensely personal interests and generate significant emotional feelings. As a mediator, I have earned a reputation for being sensitive to these interests, to how cultural diversity, gender and personality all impact the perception of rights and obligations and how they influence negotiation and dispute resolution. Disputants who are treated with dignity and respect, their cultural diversity validated and their points of view heard, become empowered to fashion their own “win-win” solutions. Utilizing well-honed negotiating skills and years of experience in the United Kingdom, Zimbabwe and the United States, I recognize the importance of all of these issues and strive to add real value to the process of dispute resolution.
MEETING CLIENTS’ EXPECTATIONS
Clients expect mediators to be good “listeners” who will offer them their “day in court”. Through being flexible and “improvisational” about both process and substance, I meet those expectations in a safe and confidential environment. I am willing to be “evaluative”, if requested, to explore “what-ifs”, ask probing questions, offer “reality checks”, identify risks and benefits and explore settlement options with the goal of gently encouraging and creatively shaping solutions.
MEETING LAWYERS' EXPECTATIONS
Lawyers expect mediators to be qualified and competent, non-aligned with any party, able to grasp issues from all perspectives and to work diligently for the benefit of all parties. I have mediated disputes for over fifteen years and have more than forty years litigating cases for plaintiffs, defendants and insurers in both California and the U.K. I earned my law degree with honors from London University. My extensive mediation training includes the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, a symposium of the International Academy of Mediators at the Harvard Negotiation Project, Steve Rosenberg’s Basic and Advanced Mediator Training, among others. I have been a panelist on countless seminars on mediation and negotiation. I am honored to be a foundation member of both the California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.