Courts Recognize the Importance of Mediation

In 2004, a Court elucidated the importance of mediation recently espoused by many Courts around the world. In Halsey v. Milton Keynes General NHS Trust, the British Civil Court of Appeal decided that alternative dispute resolution - including mediation - is necessary upon request of one party. A party's unreasonable refusal to participate in mediation constitutes unreasonable litigation conduct.  Since the decision, other Courts have stiffened its expectations regarding the need to respond to … [Read more...]

Benefits of Mediation for Attorneys

Most good attorneys at least consider mediation at some point during a case.  All actions attorneys take during a case are to promote the interests of their clients. In most cases, mediation is the best option for clients.  However, attorneys benefit from mediation too: Clients Are Happy.  All attorneys want their clients to be happy. We achieve a sense of accomplishment from a case well-handled. Further, happy clients refer future clients.  Clients who, through mediation, save time and … [Read more...]

The Worst Day in Family Law Mediation is Better Than the Best Day in Litigation

I recently saw an article with a similar title as the one above and decided to put in my two cents on the topic.  As a long time Arizona attorney and mediator, I have gotten to see the range of experiences in both litigation and mediation.  Most mediations go swimmingly well – the parties reach a full agreement in a matter of a few hours.  The parties are able to end their marriage or former relationship respectfully.  Where there are children involved, and an ongoing relationship is necessary, … [Read more...]

Tips For Successful Negotiations From The Prospective Of A Mediator – Part 1

As a mediator in Arizona, I have seen all styles of negotiation.  Many people and companies seem to think negotiations mean you have to be unrelenting and overly aggressive.  For example, •    There are those that start at an impossibly high or low number or demand and then balk when the other side does not meet them in the middle.   You lose your credibility from the get-go if you start with unreasonable positions. •    There are those who threaten to walk out if their demands are not … [Read more...]

Mediation vs Litigation: choosing your own outcome

People sometimes choose to forego mediation or negotiation, thinking that their best option is just to let the judge or jury decide.  People reach this decision for a number of reasons.  For example: Some people have negotiated for some period of time and are frustrated. Some people do not want to deal with conflict and would prefer to give up control to a judge. Some people believe the other party will never be reasonable. While negotiations can be stressful and frustrating, … [Read more...]

Listening – A Necessary Tool For Conflict Resolution In Mediation

  One of the principals of good communication and conflict resolution is listening.  How many of us really listen?   We think we are listening when all we are really either:  (1) thinking of our response to what we think the other person is saying; (2) hearing only what we want to hear to confirm what we already believe; or (3) deciding what we should eat for dinner that night. What does it mean to really listen?  Read carefully this definition by Mark Nepo: "To listen is to … [Read more...]

Arizona Divorce Process or Mediation

You are experiencing conflict, and you do not know what to do about it, so you do nothing.  It is common and all too easy to acclimate to bad conditions – so much so that you forget what it is like to live a joyful life free of conflict.  It takes no thought or effort to get used to a bad situation. It is like the proverbial frog who does not notice that it is being cooked to death because it was placed in cold water that was slowly heated to the boiling point.  Conflict has a way of weighing … [Read more...]

How To Get The Other Side to the Table to Mediate your Arizona Dispute

You have decided to avoid the Arizona Divorce Process of going to court.  Now what?  All parties to a dispute must agree to mediate, as it is a voluntary process in Arizona, in most cases.  Therefore, your goal is now to convince the other party or parties that mediation is in their best interests as well.  The easiest way to do this is to print out information for the other party about the benefits of mediation, or simply direct the party to  This writer also offers free … [Read more...]

Why using Mediation will lower your carbon footprint versus Litigation in Arizona

There are so many reasons to mediate your dispute, rather than litigate it. Below are the reasons environmentally aware people would want to mediate: 1. You will save trees.  Litigation often requires a lot of paper.  I have had litigated cases that take up four banker boxes or more of papers.  What is written on all of these pages?  There are:  a. Motions, responses to motions and replies to motions.  During litigation, the parties can file motions requesting such things as: … [Read more...]

What is the difference between Mediation and Arbitration in Arizona?

Mediation and arbitration are both methods to resolve disputes out of court.  However, the similarities end there.  In arbitration, the proceeding is governed by an arbitrator who hears testimony and otherwise reviews evidence, like a trial.  The arbitrator then makes a decision as to which party prevails. By contrast, in mediation, a mediator oversees the process, but he/she does not take evidence or make a ruling.  Instead, a mediator, using conflict resolution skills, helps parties reach … [Read more...]

Alona M. Gottfried, Esq.
8160 E Butherus Dr, Suite #7 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 776-8271