Using “Tactical Empathy” In Mediations

August 9, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

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

July 19, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

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.

June 14, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

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?

May 10, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

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

April 2, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

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

March 1, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

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

Creative Uses Of Mediation

February 8, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

One of the things I enjoy most about my job as a mediator is the flexibility inherent in the mediation process I utilize. Most of my readers are lawyers. Many of you are litigators — for whom mediation has become a preferred tool for resolving most of your cases. Typically, I’m assuming, you see mediation … Read More

When Is A Case Ripe For Mediation?

January 22, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

I’ve successfully mediated cases before suit was filed; after suit was filed, but before any discovery was conducted; after discovery was completed; while a jury was deciding a case; and while a case was on appeal. It’s not just about timing. It’s also about information. And motivation. I would say all of those cases were … Read More

The Need To Be Right

December 7, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

Regardless of the hat I’m wearing at the time — mediator, litigator, friend, brother, husband, father, and now grandfather — I struggle with the desire to be right. Always right. I recently read a post on the blog by Loraine Segal entitled The Seductiveness of Being Right. St. Augustine, a pillar of the early … Read More