I had the best experience during a mediation recently – an all-female, eight-hour phone mediation.
Now, you would think that the eight-hour phone part sounds daunting, but it was actually the getting up at 4 a.m. only to miss my flight because BWI security was a nightmare part that was horrible.
Because I then had to phone in, it was a different experience to begin with. But spending the whole day working with an all-female group working toward settling this case was genuinely a pleasant experience. At the end of the very long mediation day, one of the female lawyers commented on how nice it was to have a group of all-female members who worked supremely well together to settle a very difficult case. I had the exact same thought. It was. No one was jockeying for dominance, no one was condescending and everyone treated each other as equals.
Contrast that with a mediation months ago where I was the only female lawyer. When all of the lawyers got together at the end, after an agreement was reached, it was a total mess when it came to actually agreeing on what had been agreed to. It was as if everyone were speaking a different language. I sat there totally amazed by the ridiculousness of the conversation.
You may think that I am comparing apples to oranges because I am talking about one mediation where the group was working together toward the same goal versus a mediation involving opposing parties, but in reality the situations were not all that different.
Here’s hoping for many more all-female mediations!
Angela Davis Pallozzi is counsel at Offit Kurman P.A. in Baltimore.