Solo and Small Firm

The Practitioner 2018, Volume 24, Issue 4

Maximizing the Outcome and Experience in Mediation with Large Firms: Insights and tips for small firms and sole practitioners

By Jan Frankel Schau

Jan Frankel Schau has successfully mediated over 1500 litigated cases since giving up her litigation practice and becoming a full-time mediator in 2003. She has been a panel member at ADR Services for over a decade and is widely regarded as one of L.A.’s preeminent mediators, being recognized by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as a Top 50 Neutral. A former President of the Southern California Mediation Association, Jan is also a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and a member of the United States District Court’s Settlement Officers Panel. Jan specializes in mediating employment, business and tort disputes. Jan is the author of numerous scholarly articles and a book, "View from the Middle of the Road: A Mediator’s Perspective to Life, Conflict and Human Interaction". For more information, see:

Famed philosopher Fortune Barthelemy de Felice opined that negotiations can be an antidote to weakness if those weaker powers wisely observe the maxim that "it is always best to submit to negotiation those things that one cannot contest by arms. Such conduct depends on continual negotiations and on friends and allies; it is the unique but sure resource of the weak, and it is most useful for tempering the excessive force of the powerful."1

Success in mediation may be a particular challenge to the small firm or sole practitioner who, like a small nation, may find itself insufficiently armed to combat a more forceful power. Through careful preparation and effective advocacy, though, you may find you can "win support and rid [yourself] of the most troublesome [cases] ."2

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