Ambition and Wishful Thinking



For many years I’ve mediated thousands of widely varied civil lawsuits.  No matter how diverse the subject matter, wrongful death, real estate, employment or contract, many cases have been fueled by an ambition that is often hard to distinguish from wishful thinking.  Although ambition is usually displayed by the amount of damages sought by plaintiffs and their attorneys, it also regularly appears in the attitude of defendants and their lawyers and insurance claims personnel for different reasons.

Plaintiffs ambitiously chase “justice” having never experienced the difficulty of winning a civil lawsuit.  The most ambitious litigants in this regard are usually the least...

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Latest Posts in Law


Pacific ADR is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) boutique based in Seattle and active throughout the Pacific Northwest. 

Commercial Mediation: What is it and how to do it?

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Troy Hunter Joins Pacific ADR Consulting LLC

 A.Troy Hunter has joined Pacific ADR Consulting, LLC as a panel member.  He has developed a reputation for being a creative and highly effective trial attorney for both plaintiffs and defendants in construction disputes, product liability, fire losses, personal injury/wrongful death, and cases involving sexual abuse, harassment and misconduct.

Kinsella V. JAMS: Trial and Endgame

In 2015, venture capitalist Kevin Kinsella and his wife, Tamara, chose to litigate their divorce before a retired former judge and JAMS panel member, Sheila Sonenshine.  JAMS is a large national provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services and has more than 300 panelists in a number of U.S. cities.


"The key word is 'trust.' Without it, you're dead. Without it, stay home!" - Alan Gold, Canadian mediator

The level of trust between mediators and parties is key to the success of the mediation process. When two or more parties decide to participate in mediation, it’s generally because some sort of dispute, disagreement or litigation has been instigated. As a result, a certain level of distrust has already been fostered between the parties. There’s no guarantee that by participating in mediation they will ever truly come to trust one another... and in some instances, there are sound reasons not to, but even parties entrenched in mutual suspicion can come to trust a true neutral. It’s vital that mediators work to earn the faith and confidence of each party. Without the participants’ trust in both the mediator and the process, the outcome of mediation will be less than ideal – if a resolution can be achieved at all