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...

read more..

Latest Posts in Law

Money Talks and Skakel Walks

On Friday, May 4, 2018 The Connecticut Supreme Court vacated the conviction of Michael Skakel, who had been found guilty of murdering his neighbor, 15-year-old Martha Moxley, with a golf club in 1975.The Michael Skakel case spanned more than 25 years and inspired worldwide media coverage.  It is worth mentioning that Skakel is the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert F. Kennedy, because it is the Kennedy connection that ultimately enabled him to get away with murder. 

From Marriage to Divorce, The Emotional Perspective

Divorce can come as a surprise, even though the family may be ripe for the cataclysm. A marriage may be undermined when one partner spends too much time at work, away from family, or when job stress and overwhelming financial obligations—perhaps for the new car or the new home—come to the fore. Individuals caught in the fray of daily living are often unaware of the impact that such strains have on marriage and child rearing. 

Getting Away With Murder

From the top down, we are witnessing large numbers of politicians, their cronies and their friends getting away with murder. They all have one thing in common—money, almost unimaginable, large sums of money.

Arbitration Blues: Stormy Daniels v. Donald Trump

The dispute between porn star Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump continues to dominate the news cycle. Ironically, the nondisclosure agreement (NDA) purportedly entered into between them was designed to avoid any publicity about their alleged affair that happened more than ten years ago. Among other things, the NDA contains a one-sided arbitration clause (NDA Sec.5.2) and Daniels is waging a determined battle to have the NDA, including its arbitration provision, declared invalid. Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, filed a Complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court (cause No. BC 696568) seeking that relief.  Mr. Trump’s attorneys have recently removed the case to U.S. District Court, at least for the time being.  A public trial rather than private arbitration would be a more favorable forum for Daniels...

Leadership in Commercial Mediation

For well over 25 years, mediation has been a voluntary or mandatory alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process in many state and federal courts.  Concurrent with the growth of mediation has been a proliferation of mediation training and a great deal of online discussion, blogging and tweeting about mediation.  Much mediation discussion can appear academic, self -absorbed and indifferent to party expectations of the mediation process.