I had a legal dispute with a major company over a contract. After years of litigation we agreed to sit down with a mediator. We used the JAMS service in San Francisco and chose a mediator John Bates – who did an EXCELENT JOB and managed to get us to reach a settlement.
In mediation it’s not about who is right or wrong. It’s not a trial – and both parties have to agree. So the process is all about reaching a deal that every is willing to settle for.
In my case we were so far apart that I had serious doubts that it was going to happen. In fact – at the end of the day we had failed to reach an agreement. I left an offer open on the table till the end of the week and the week passed and nothing.
But John Bates refused to accept failure and he kept the negotiations open, working mostly on the other side to bring them closer to reality – and it paid off. Ultimately we agreed and both came away feeling screwed. But – I’ve been screwed worse in real court and as they say – a bird in the hand ….
So – my point. Mediation is definitely worth trying and I really like John Bates for pulling off a miracle. It was a very educational experience.