GHOSTS AT A MEDIATION
by
David B. Harwi, Esq. and George Reath, Jr. Esq.

A mediation can sometimes be like a poorly tuned television picture - the actors can be identified but their appearances are blurred by ghosts which surround them. The same can be said about a mediation. The disputants may be apparent but their interests may be blurred by the ghosts which surround them. These ghosts are anyone who has an economic or emotional interest in the outcome of the mediation beyond the interests of the disputants. For example ghosts may include:

  • a lawyer for a disputant who is to be compensated by a contingent fee;

  • a meticulous defense counsel;

  • a spouse;

  • an insurance carrier’s policy to limit liability at the expense of process cost; or

  • the corporate disputant’s executive with a personal hostility toward the other disputant.


The list depends upon the mediation. For the mediation to result in settlement the interests of the disputants and the ghosts may have to be considered.

© Triage Mediation Services Inc. 2000


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