Mediation is About Listening

Welcome to my website.  First, a few words about my approach to mediation.

A good business dispute mediator must be able to evaluate a case in short order . . . identify the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case, sort through and prioritize complex factual situations and apply substantive and sometimes obscure legal principles.  Over the years, a good litigator develops these abilities together with a “gut” sense of a case’s “warmth” and the likelihood of success.

But that’s not enough.  A good mediator pretty much keeps the evaluation to himself or herself and uses it for asking questions to fill in gaps.  In addition to evaluation, however, a good mediator must also be a very good listener . . . because that’s what really happens in a mediation session.

Mediation is based on enabling the parties, not their lawyers, to craft their own terms of settlement, based on their personal values.  While lawyers are trained to focus on the law and a dispute’s objective facts, the parties’ stated positions are driven by the facts as they see them, generally a highly subjective…even emotional…matter, making it necessary to identify the core factors or interests driving each party’s outward positions.  To do this, a good mediator must be a very good listener; respectful, sincere and non-judgmental.  If so, the parties will respect and trust the mediator as impartial, opening the way to fruitful discussion.

Dan Cofran
Dan CofranBusiness Dispute Mediation
Dan Cofran, a Best Lawyer in America, has practiced law in Kansas City for 40 years in corporate and commercial litigation, commercial real estate transactions and land use law. He is active in Kansas City civic affairs, including serving eight years on the Kansas City, Missouri City Council, as a board member of numerous civic organizations and a recipient of many civic honors.

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