Decision Tree Analysis

October 24, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

Decision tree analysis is a valuable tool for evaluating settlement options in mediation. It’s a tactic we employ with even the most mundane decisions. For instance, as we consider crossing a busy street, we’re unconsciously weighing the “reward” of being across the street — along with our probability of safe passage — against the risk … Read More

Making The Most Of Appellate Mediation Opportunities

October 12, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

I’ve been doing appellate mediation since the program began, and I’ve been genuinely surprised by the success rate. At the program’s inception, I anticipated a significantly lower success rate than I’ve had with non-appellate mediations — but it’s about 70%, which isn’t much lower than my rate for other matters. While my approach to conducting … Read More

What’s The Best Mediation Model: Joint Session Or Caucus?

September 21, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

I mediate a wide range of disputes — from automobile accidents, product liability claims, death claims and construction disputes to dissolution of business and professional practices, will contests, contract disputes and medical liability claims. I even occasionally mediate church splits. Given the variety of disputes I work on, I need flexibility in the mediation models … Read More

Persistence Wins In Mediation

August 18, 2017By br_adminCase Studies

As I mentioned in another post, I recently served on a panel of mediators — with Phil Adams, Randy James and Harold Stephens — at the Alabama State Bar’s annual meeting. Harold likened mediation to an “American Ninja Warriors” competition (referring to the popular NBC summer program). For one reason, Harold noted, successful competitors “never … Read More

Attitude Matters In Mediations. And In Life.

July 19, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

Those of you who hunt have surely seen the logo for the gear with a large antler rack and the words Size Matters. I recently heard an E.D. advertisement claiming, as part of their product pitch, that Sex Matters. My variation on these themes, in mediation and litigation in general, is Attitude Matters. As a … Read More

How Do You Get The Mediator On Your Side?

June 22, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

You thought mediators were neutral? Well, they are. Or should be. I’m talking about how you can get a mediator to work for you, and help you accomplish your goals. (NOTE: For the sake of readability, I’m going to assume the mediator, like me, is male). The answer to the question posed in my headline … Read More

Forces That Negatively Affect Mediation Negotiations

May 17, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

In another post, I discussed forces that impact our judgment in valuing cases. Today I want to discuss forces that negatively affect our ability to negotiate cases; forces which, It’s important to note, generally influence us subconsciously. Parties aren’t even aware they’re at play. My role as mediator is to anticipate any such influences, and … Read More

Forces At Play In A Mediation

May 4, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

Negotiations are never conducted in a vacuum. There are a myriad of forces impacting and influencing a party’s willingness and ability to negotiate and settle disputes. Part of our job as attorneys and mediators is to identify those forces, then determine if we can counter them and use them to our advantage. As a teacher … Read More

The Power Of An Apology In Mediation

April 20, 2017By Bill RatliffUncategorized

For most of us, apologies don’t come easy. Personally, I have no trouble apologizing to my wife. As long as she apologizes first. . . That said, apologies can be powerful in litigation. Even more so in mediation. What’s more, mediation provides a setting in which parties can apologize more easily. After all, the process … Read More