COMMENTARY: Recipe for success - Cook up a great mediation agreement in no time flat


By Edmund J. Sikorski Jr.

This recipe is inexpensive, fast, easy to make, and is the unique secret creation of the makers.

This very same recipe can be used to cook deals in a broad variety of categories that include breach of fiduciary duties, breach of contract, business and commercial disputes, and even personal injury and malpractice cases.

1) Start with the ingredient proposition that mediation is simply supervised negotiation where the mediator owns the process but the parties own the result.

2) Add in the factual ingredient that process is the essence of mediation.

3) Blend in copious amounts of organized factually themed information exchange necessary to make both a calculated best outcome decision and includes a reasonable litigation risk analysis.

4) Bake in an emotionally low heat oven for several hours (not months or years).

Behold – you have cooked a comprehensive, low cost case resolution (settlement) and a satisfied client.

Caution: High emotional heat cooks in outrage, anger, and intractability that will cause the recipe to self-destruct, and increase client dissatisfaction and costs in a linear progression.

Caveat: Deals are not made in the courtroom – that is a zero sum event where there is no blended product.

Ingredient comment:  The success of the recipe is highly dependent on the quality and completeness of the informational ingredient by all parties involved in the recipe creation. Ignoring information will cause the recipe to implode. Holding back an informational component in the hope of adding it at some later point will limit the success of recipe completion to less than 3 percent. (Rate of actual trials conducted – and then the effect of the addition is speculative at best.) Cooperation in putting all relevant information into the mix is critical to achieve the desired end product.
Edmund J. Sikorski Jr. offers civil mediation services and is an approved Washtenaw County Civil Mediator and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil and Appellate Mediator now residing in Ann Arbor. Visit  or e-mail