Mediation is the resolution of disputes with the non-binding assistance of neutral third parties. Its primary principle is self-determination — control of the outcome by the disputants, in contrast to other-controlled decision processes like litigation. What form a neutral’s assistance should take is the subject of fierce debate among practitioners.
This morning, driving toward the University of Southern California campus, a lot of memories passed through my mind. I recalled attending the High School Debate Institute at USC, in the summer of 1965, prior to my senior year, and, as an unknown, being named second speaker, behind Roy Shults. I remembered how the lessons learned there got me to the 1966 state finals in extemporaneous speaking,...Read More
We’ve all dealt with a “difficult personality.” This is the person we are afraid to run into on the elevator at work, the family member who never fails to offend, or the jerk at the furniture store who refuses to refund your money on a delivery that was never made.
The difficult personality is a confounding beast. It comes in all types. For every egomaniac, passive-aggressive cretin and...Read More
A 42-year-old client with a strong banking and finance background has decided to go into business with a progeny of an old-line California real estate development family. The proposed partners plan to acquire, remodel, and sell existing high-end single-family residential properties along the Central Coast of California. My client’s specific expertise is in real estate finance. His proposed...Read More
During the busy holiday season, I braved San Jose’s Trader Joe’s for some last minute grocery items. As I exited the store, I headed into a jammed parking lot in Almaden Plaza. You know the kind…carts parked under trees, cars in every direction, all set to the holiday tune of honking cars.
Out of the corner of my eye, a dad was struggling with his two tiny tots and a cart full of groceries. I...Read More
It was a warm, sunny day in Los Angeles yesterday, so I decided to go for a stroll. A car passed me with a license plate that read, “PRODUCE.” In Los Angeles, the probability that the person inside that car is a film, television, or music producer is about 99.9%. But if I was taking the same walk in my rural hometown of East Liverpool, Ohio, the person driving that car would most likely be the...Read More