One more settlement – and another lesson learned …

In the process of facilitating another settlement (and maintaining my 100% record!), I learnt another lesson.

Situation appeared to be pretty straight forward.  Both sides were represented by attorneys who had been in communication for some time attempting to reach a negotiated settlement.  However, the discussion seemed have got stuck at some point due to which they came for a mediation.

Both sides appeared eager to reach a settlement – that made me confident that the matter would settle (based on my mantra “If you are motivated to settle, I can definitely help you find a way”).

And one attorney seemed to be in a particular hurry to settle since he said he had a court appearance at 1:00 pm.  When I communicated that to the other attorney, she said we should then just “speed it up” by working with the proposed agreement that she had on her letterhead.  When I told her I did not think that was a good idea (since in my mind that would arouse suspicion on the other side) she did not seem very happy.  Instead I told her to email me her proposed agreement and that I would selective cut and paste content from there, as appropriate, into the Mediated Settlement Agreement that I would prepare (which is what I ended up doing).

Turned out the proposed agreement that she had sent me was not the most recent one that she had sent to opposing counsel (who presented me with a later version of that proposed agreement where some things had been changed).  So not agreeing to work directly off the proposed agreement that I was presented by the first attorney turned out to be a good decision.

From that point onwards, the mediation went pretty smoothly and I was able to draft an agreement by around 1:00 pm and the final version was signed by all parties and myself shortly thereafter.

The feeling of exhilaration on another successful settlement was somewhat dampened by the feedback from the first attorney that she was not happy with me for rejecting her “suggestions to speed up process” but was more than compensated by the second attorney who commended me for making the process “very easy and enjoyable” (see feedback).

Well, I learnt that one cannot make all the people happy all the time even when the mission is apparently successful – so I might be better off just focusing on getting the job done …