Advanced Mediation Training

Making Money Talk

Personal Injury and Workers Compensation claims make up the bulk of our state courts’ case load—-and, they have one thing in common that makes them unusual in the world of mediation. They are claims for money between people who are largely strangers to each other.

Applying traditional understandings of the mediation process to these cases, we know that we can often help the parties by facilitating a risk, or BATNA, analysis. However, traditional mediation theory does little to help us with much of what goes on in the negotiation of injury claims.

At some point, the usefulness of risk analysis diminishes as the parties begin to swap settlement proposals consisting solely of amounts of money. So, what do negotiators and mediators do when BATNA analysis runs out? What role can mediators play when the parties have moved beyond analyzing the strength and weaknesses of their case into a seemingly endless process of proposal making?

From our experience in literally thousands of injury-claim mediations, we have identified the numerous, predictable, and recurring situations in which the parties to position-based bargaining fall into patterns of behavior that create stumbling blocks to the successful resolution of negotiations about money. Some of those include the problem of:

  • “Who goes first?”
  • “I’m not going to bid against myself!”
  • “Go tell them to give me a realistic number.”
  • “I’m out of here.”
  • “That offer’s insulting.”
  • “Is that really his best number?”
  • “I’m not going to dignify that offer with a response.”
  • And many, many more.

This Advanced Mediation Training is designed to fill a gap in the theory of mediation process to include the facilitation of position-based bargaining and to provide a set of tools to assist negotiators and mediators in any dispute involving monetary claims. It was the basis of the book, Making Money Talk, authored by Andy Little and published by the ABA.

Join us and other mediators who are serious about mediating the settlement of civil litigation.