Approach to Mediation

The essence of a good mediator is impartiality, adaptability and persistence. No single approach works in every case, and an effective mediator must change tactics and style to match the needs of individual situations.

Many disputes present complex legal, personal, and business issues. To settle them Dwight Golann is prepared to manage hard bargaining, analyze legal issues, and deal with strong emotions. He investigates facts, asks questions, presses for new offers, advises bargainers, makes settlement proposals, and when necessary evaluates legal claims and defenses. For more about his techniques, see Basic Strategy.

The American Bar Association and the J.A.M.S. Foundation have sponsored a video which shows Professor Golann co-mediating an international business case. It contains 21 chapters which show the mediators conducting initial meetings with parties,  conveying and explaining opening offers, exploring non-monetary options, evaluating legal issues and using a variety of impasse-breaking techniques. To view examples of these techniques, go to

Professor Golann considers it a personal challenge to settle every case. He may set up direct discussions among lawyers or principals, meet informally with outsiders who are influencing the clients’ decisions, and apply techniques such as bracketed bargaining or a mediator’s proposal. If a case does not settle at the mediation session he follows up by email and telephone. He describes these techniques in the article “Nearing the Finish Line: Dealing with Impasse in Commercial Mediation.”

For more information, please contact