I like to make the most of my limited book-reading time, so I especially like recommendations from colleagues in the ADR world. Some time back, a mediator I know and respect suggested this book, first published in 2007, but as relevant as ever. It was superb and I pass the recommendation on to you.
The book is "Making Money Talk: How to Mediate Insured Claims and Other Monetary Disputes," by J. Anderson Little. The author’s focus is on litigated money disputes, which he views as fundamentally different from disputes involving primarily interpersonal conflict. As he puts it, money disputes in insured claims inevitably involve positional bargaining, and resist reframing efforts to cast them as opportunities for joint problem-solving and mutual gain. They are different from family or workplace mediations.
So what’s an “insured claim” mediator to do – just serve as a messenger between caucused parties? The author rejects that notion, and provides useful, often confirming insight into the dynamics of money negotiations, as well as new tools for mediators to consider. Chapters address making a place for traditional bargaining, helping negotiators overcome negative reactions to each other’s proposals, closing the gap between “best numbers” and settlement, standards of conduct in the mediation of civil litigation, and ways to respond to some 25 settlement clichés often voiced by the parties’ attorneys during monetary dispute mediation. So give this book a try!
Now for you: What tips, books, articles, or other ADR learning resources can you recommend to the rest of us? Whether you represent clients in negotiations, mediation, arbitration, or serve as an arbitrator, mediator, or both, let’s hear from you. Shared learning takes us all higher.