A Personal Note from Linda Meyer
In thinking about what distinguishes me from other mediators, I would say that I have a unique gift of being able to read, assess and articulate the unspoken hidden interests and concerns which are creating road blocks to reaching a settlement. It is my policy to directly address these issues with empathy and firmness, using my legal expertise as a necessary and effective component in assessing risk and moving parties beyond conflict to a deal. In addition to basic disputes, my clients generally call on my expertise for their most challenging and difficult cases, trusting that my legal knowledge and ability to identify and address the hidden motivations underlying the situation will get the parties past impasse to agreement.
The process I use to reach resolution has undergone many changes over the years. It has evolved as a result of my clients’ needs, my own personal growth and a changing marketplace where mediation has become a staple in the litigation process. I look at each case individually, considering the players and the history and let the lawyers decide if a joint session or private meetings and shuttle diplomacy will be most effective. I have learned that I can work on the legal, emotional and personal considerations in either format to move clients toward a reasoned settlement.
The most important skill I bring to the table is my ability to communicate and help each side understand how they are seen by the other. This focus is not just designed to have the parties consider jury appeal and legal risk in a courtroom, it is intended to help clients appreciate each side’s perspective and the reasoning behind the settlement positions in the negotiation. Despite knowing that my ability to settle a case is essential to being considered an effective mediator, settlement is not my only goal. When I transitioned my practice from litigation to mediation I made a decision to be of service to others while honoring myself and my values. I genuinely believe that it is important for a mediator to facilitate a settlement which allows clients to leave the negotiating table appreciating a deal that they have truly committed to.