Attorneys in Mediation: Don’t Beat a Dead Horse!

January 30, 2019By Bill RatliffUncategorized

In one of my very first columns for this blog, I advised my readers that persistence wins in mediation. While I stand by that advice, there is another kind of persistence that absolutely, positively doesn’t win in mediation — the kind referred-to in this post’s title. Beating a dead horse: What a descriptive phrase, when … Read More

To Be A Better Mediator, Trust the Process.

January 8, 2019By Bill RatliffUncategorized

If you’re an Alabama football fan (or, for that matter, a Bama hater), there’s a good chance you’ve heard Nick Saban talk about “the process” — the term he uses in describing his approach to building championship-caliber football players and teams. Despite recent evidence to the contrary 🙁, that process has served his program very … Read More

Attention Attorneys In Mediation: Don’t Just Phone It In.

December 13, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

If I’m being honest, I cringe every time I conduct a mediation where the defendant’s party representative participates by telephone, or not at all. Unfortunately, I see this happening more and more often. Having said this, I can think of several plausible reasons why client representatives wouldn’t attend a mediation — including The representative is … Read More

Winning Mediations “On Purpose”

November 20, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

I recently bought an amazing 2-CD release by sports psychologist Kevin Elko entitled Win On Purpose. A longtime consultant to Nick Saban and numerous other college and professional football coaches, Elko is renowned for his success in teaching and motivating athletes to reach their highest potential. Elko’s presentation inspired me to consider how litigators in … Read More

How to Serve as a Better Counselor in Mediations

October 18, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

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

September 27, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

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

August 30, 2018By Bill RatliffUncategorized

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

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