The ABA FCL MidWinter Meeting in San Diego kicked off with a bang with an Advanced Mediation Practicum. Nearly 50 attendees participated with a content-rich discussion on how to effectively mediate complex construction cases. Brenda Radmacher of Akerman, LLP coordinated the practicum and led the panel discussion with Judge Gail Andler (Ret.) at JAMS, Anne Goyette of Griffiths Goyette, Robbie MacPherson of Cokinos Young, and Chad Wilson of PSOMAS. The panel’s presentation was highlighted by demonstrative role plays led by mediator Deborah Bovarnick Mastin and her “players” Jessica Bogo (Pillsbury), Catherine DeLorey (Gordon & Rees), Michael Murray (Lanak & Hanna), Rob Ruesch (Verrill), and Joe Hellenbrand (Capital Project Management, Inc).
The panel covered issues on how to prepare for mediation including key issues of mediator selection, timing, and briefs. Issues on opening sessions and strategies for effective caucuses were addressed in-depth. There was also a robust discussion regarding differences in how mediation of construction cases is done regionally as well as issues regarding memorializing and enforcing settlements.
Feedback from attendees included comments like, “The pointers and tips were so on point that I can go and implement them immediately.” And “I am an experienced mediator and really learned a lot from the session.” The attendees were so engaged that they stayed 20 minutes past the published end time!