Mediation Philosophy:
An Introduction to Mediating with Patricia Prince


Finding the right mediator to design and manage your dispute resolution process increases the likelihood of settlement.  Each dispute has distinct needs, driven by the parties, the nature of the dispute, counsel representing the parties, the applicable law and the dynamic interaction of all these elements.

 

Choosing the Right Mediator

As would be expected, a neutral with more mediation experience usually brings a greater level of competence and a higher rate of settlement.  While specialization in a particular field of law may not be necessary, prior experience in the area of law involving your dispute may be helpful.  You may also want to think about the mediator′s approach to mediation and the personalities of the parties and counsel involved in your dispute.  Let me tell you a little about myself to see if I might be the right fit for your dispute.

If we haven′t previously worked together, please be sure to call to speak with me. Until then, my website is a good place to start your inquiry as to whether I am the right mediator to resolve your current dispute.

ADR Qualifications:

I began mediating in 2001 while still practicing law and became a full-time neutral in 2007.  I have successfully mediated hundreds of disputes.  I handle a wide variety of cases, but my primary focus is on business disputes including partnership disputes, breach of contract cases, commercial landlord/tenant disputes and premises liability cases; intellectual property disputes, including trademark and trade secrets cases; and employment disputes, including discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and wage and hour cases (individual, representative or class actions).  In addition, I mediate personal injury and family financial disputes, including inheritance disputes, jointly-owned family property disputes, and family business succession disputes, trust disputes and elder financial abuse cases.  I am fluent in Spanish and have significant experience mediating cases in which some or all of the clients and/or counsel are Spanish-speaking.

Bilingual (Spanish/English)

I am fluent in Spanish and have significant experience mediating cases in which some or all of the participants are Spanish&–speaking.

Legal Qualifications:

In addition to my expertise in the arena of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), I practiced law as a business litigator for 15 years.  I have worked with both plaintiffs and defendants and have represented very large corporate clients, such as Warner Bros. and Universal Studios, while working at Makoff Kinnear Counsel, as well as small businesses and individuals, while working as a sole practitioner.  I have practiced law in both state and federal courts, representing clients in domestic and international matters, primarily in the areas of securities, business and entertainment law.  You may read more about my professional background under the Experience tab on my website, but I also want to tell you a little about my approach to mediation.

Approach to Mediation:

Ultimately, my role as a mediator is to make sure all parties feel confident that they have been heard and understood, to provide an open-minded forum to analyze and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the claims and defenses, to provide a fair process worthy of the trust of both sides of the dispute, and, importantly, to persist until a resolution that is optimal for the parties is achieved.

Bringing About Enduring Resolutions:

Through more than a decade′s experience of mediating disputes, it has become clear to me that the parties and their attorneys have the best solutions for an enduring resolution of their dispute—not a judge, not a jury and not a mediator.  This is not to say that it will be easy, but I believe the best resolutions come from the parties with the assistance of counsel and the mediator. Unrealistic case valuation, a party that is irrational (or seems irrational), impasse or concerns over impasse, and a variety of other hiccups are a normal part of the negotiating process.  Over the years, I have developed a number of techniques that have proven successful in assisting counsel and their clients overcome these difficulties to reach resolution.  Whether refocusing on interests, using humor, or using alternative negotiation proposals–there are a wide variety of tools that can be brought to bear to assist the parties to break through impasse and move on to resolution.

What makes me different from other mediators?

  • A sincere desire to understand who the litigant is as a person or entity
  • The ability to assist parties and counsel integrate and prioritize case evaluation with key interests.
  • Accessibility prior to the mediation session with scheduled separate conference calls to confidentially discuss the case and process.
  • Follow–up with counsel, should the case not settle in session, to find the next opportunity for resolution.

Paving the Way for Resolution:

At the end of the day, mediation is a voluntary process, so whether or not the parties settle is controlled entirely by the parties—not the mediator.  However, I believe the mediator can play an important role by guiding the parties through the dispute resolution process with optimism, understanding and confidence.  Given the depth of my experience successfully resolving disputes, I am well equipped to assist you as you make this journey.  I welcome the opportunity to work with you to resolve your dispute.

Patricia Prince