When I started my specialized mediation practice I coined the phrase “Fair, Committed & Impartial” not realizing how aptly this phrase described how my approach to mediation would evolve. First and foremost, it is critical that the lawyers and their clients perceive me as being fair. Without that element, the mediation cannot go anywhere. Second, I must be committed to the mediation process. Many times the discussions and negotiations get off to a rocky start or bog down mid-day, and after a few hours it may appear that a resolution is not in the cards. But I must push forward and convince the attorneys and their clients that we can reach a resolution if we just stick to the process. Finally, I must be impartial – tough on both sides, pointing out the financial, emotional and physical costs and risks of going forward. But I cannot favor, nor can I appear to favor, one side over another. Its amazing how successful we have been following these tenets.