I have been spending lots of time mediating cases. As litigation goes, mediation is a great process.
For those who are not familiar, it is a process (not a word used lightly) where an independent third party, typically a retired judge, listens to the parties and tries to help them reach a compromise. The parties are in separate rooms with their lawyers and the judge will go back and forth between the parties listening to arguments, challenging the arguments and demonstrating to the parties where there is room for compromise.
It gives the parties more control over the outcome of their case by taking the final decision away from a judge or jury and giving it to the parties. The tough part is getting past the emotional tie to your case, accepting the weaknesses of your case and taking less than you believe you are entitled to. Ultimately, when both parties leave feeling like they gave up something they didn’t want to, the mediation was successful.
But what if we applied this to everyday life? What if we had an independent third party who would mediate everyday issues for us?
The biggest dispute in my personal life: What to have for dinner. Having an independent person listen to what I want and what my husband wants, then choosing, would be great.
I can think of several examples where a mediator would be helpful: Who is going to take the dog out? Whose family do we visit for the holiday? Where do we go for vacation?
I think a mediator for my own internal debates would be helpful too: Where should I stop for coffee? Should I stop for coffee? Do I really need this pastry? Should I go home or to the gym?
Think about how much time would be saved. There really should be an app for this.
Angela Davis Pallozzi is counsel at Offit Kurman P.A. in Baltimore.