KEYS TO DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Don’t allow your business disputes to become a nightmare. The trick to successful negotiation lies in learning to listen to what another party needs and in getting him to listen to you. Creativity is critical to conflict resolution snd can also translate weaknesses into strengths.
I can help you successfully negotiate a business, or property transaction. I have been doing that for over 40 years as a commercial and property lawyer, and as a trained negotiator. One of the tricks lies in preparing before you meet the other party. Just as a trial lawyer would never show up for a trial without preparing, negotiating effectively demands preparation.
Sometimes despite your best efforts you can’t get to the finish line. That may be because the other party is using high pressure tactics and you don’t know how to respond. It may be because you are having trouble presenting your position. It is also possible that one of you has miscalulated the ‘zone for a possible agreement or [‘ZOPA’]. On a scale of 1 to 10, if one side’s best offer is 7 and the other’s is 2, it’s possible that either or both of you have miscalculated the ZOPA. You need to reach a compromise. But that doesn’t mean meeting half-way. And that’s because both sides may not have equal resources. One side may be more powerful. The end game is always about satisfactory compromise, never ‘winner take all’.
Some conflicts don’t lend themselves to negotiation or mediation. The issues you face may involve law, accounting, science or technology, Where the technical issue involves a critical matter of principle and getting to middle ground is not important, then both sides need an arbitrator, a neutral, unbiased, independant third party to listen to the evidence and decide the conflict.
MED-ARB: MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION ON THE SAME DAY
If you wish, you can have a dispute mediated first and if the mediation proves unsuccessful, proceed to arbitrate immediately afer the mediation ends. This called ‘Med-Arb’. The important point to undrstand is that mediators and arbitrators must be neutral, independent and unbiased and treat everyone falrly and equally. Mediators are human. So it is possible for a mediator to lean toward one side after listening to both. if that happens, the mediator may no longer be neutral and unbiased. If you’re prepared to take this risk you can move to arbitrate using the same person. It’s up to you. Or you can agree at the outset when you are asked to sign a Med/Arb agreement to select an alternate arbitrator and completely avoid this risk. It’s up to you.