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Understanding the Parties’ Prior Relationships

Understanding the Parties’ Prior Relationships

Do you think it’s important to find out about the parties interactions prior to the mediation?



Full Transcript

Absolutely. But it’s developed beyond that, because one of the key parts, of my mediations anyway, is to get people to tell their story. In other words, the opening session, which can often be two hours or more, certainly up to lunch time, opens negotiations where the parties can tell their stories.


I try to get lawyers to brief it beforehand. I tend to coach them in a private session before we have the opening session. Then I try to give them as much opportunity as I can for them to speak during the opening session. That, to me, is the starting point of them being able to let history go and think about the future.

About the mediator

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The late David Richbell was one of the most respected mediators and most experienced non-lawyer mediators in Europe. David had been a full-time mediator since 1996. He was the founder of MATA, one of Europe’s leading training provider for advanced mediator workshops and David was arguably one of the best mediation trainers around. Chambers Directory thought of him as ‘possibly the nicest person in mediation’ – judge for yourself when you... View Mediator