How to Serve as a Better Counselor in Mediations

How to Serve as a Better Counselor in Mediations

October 18, 2018

Many of the lawyers reading this use letterhead that identifies them as “counselor.” Though the term as used by lawyers may not be identical to the way it’s intended in the counseling community, I find it fascinating how many of us in the profession hold ourselves out to be counselors. When I think of a … Read More

Applying the Golden Rule in Mediation

Applying the Golden Rule in Mediation

September 27, 2018

If you’re like me, you were first taught The Golden Rule at a young age. I remember hearing it from my parents, at church and at school. Here’s what “Wikipedia” has to say about it: “The Golden Rule is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated. It is a maxim … Read More

Effectively Making Yourself Understood in Mediations

Effectively Making Yourself Understood in Mediations

August 30, 2018

In my last post, I mentioned that I enjoy reading the work of former FBI hostage negotiator, and now CEO & Founder of the Black Swan Group, Chris Voss. In his blog, The Edge, he writes frequently about effective communication techniques and tactics. It’s a given that communicating effectively is a fundamental requirement of our … Read More

Using “Tactical Empathy” In Mediations

Using “Tactical Empathy” In Mediations

August 9, 2018

One author I enjoy reading is former FBI hostage negotiator, and now CEO & Founder of the Black Swan Group, Chris Voss. He’s has been blogging on his area of expertise since 2013. (If you’re a frequent flyer, you might be interested in this post: Negotiating a Seat on a Plane When There Isn’t One). … Read More

Consider Sharing Your Position Statement

Consider Sharing Your Position Statement

July 19, 2018

Old habits die hard. Most litigators were trained in the school of thought that says mediation statements should not be shared. At least, that’s my experience. I rarely see advocates in mediations sharing their position statements with the other side — and yes, I understand the various reasons for not sharing. That said, I’ve seen … Read More

Listen. JUST Listen.

Listen. JUST Listen.

June 14, 2018

Good advice whether you’re in mediation or not. In my last post, I talked about the common qualities of good listeners; and how effective, intentional listening involves your ears, your eyes, your mind, your heart and your undivided attention. I also talked the fundamental need to be heard — which we all share. That said, … Read More

Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

May 10, 2018

The importance of listening during mediations. You remember the guy who repeatedly asked the headline’s question in the Verizon ad campaign, years ago? Whether or not you liked it, the fact that Sprint hired the guy should tell you how effective that campaign was. What’s more, seeing him again on TV got me thinking about … Read More

Pre-Mediation Conferences

Pre-Mediation Conferences

April 2, 2018

Are you effectively utilizing them as a part of the mediation process? I’ve handled any number of mediations where the parties and counsel view prospects for settlement with optimism. In other cases — typically where the facts or the law are complex, the number of moving parts (parties, insurance coverage dispute, disagreement over damages) is … Read More

Don’t Take Special for Granted

Don’t Take Special for Granted

March 1, 2018

My posts typically deal with insights I’ve gained in my career as a mediator. That said, mediation is what I do. It’s not who I am. I’m a son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend, a lawyer, a partner, a Christian — and so many other things, in addition to being a mediator. … Read More

ratliff_billA senior partner of the law firm of Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt, Bill Ratliff has been an adjunct professor of Mediation at the University of Alabama since 2009.
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