Anything that brings finality in the Jarndyce v. Jarndyce world of litigation is hard. Bringing finality to litigation is hard even if you are wearing a black robe and have the power to sign that magic piece of paper called ‘a final judgment.’ Bringing finality to litigation by cajoling the parties themselves into an agreement that ends a dispute is not just hard. It is often freaking impossible.
If you have a lawsuit that involves an intricate business dispute and you want to mediate it, and –here’s the kicker– you really want it to be resolved, then you need to seriously consider hiring David Guerry. He’s not inexpensive, but his rate really shouldn’t be a factor –unless what you want is an unsuccesful mediation. Then definitely hire someone else. You’ll get what you want for a lot less money.
If you want a successful mediation of your seemingly impossible-to-resolve business dispute, then hire David. If you have parties who have allowed themselves to become infested with acrimony, and you can see that bitterness is compounding the problem of reaching a settlement, then hire David. If you want to see a mediation done by someone with a rare balance of social acumen, penetrating insight, and sharp business sense, then E-mail David and ask him for an available date.
Why am I telling you this now? Well, it’s because I literally just witnessed him in a difficult mediation, and I came away from the experience with a profound sense of awe. David is not a passive message carrier; he takes an active role in the mediation process. He doesn’t waste time, but he has an excellent sense of pace. He is superbly skilled in reading people and in tailoring his approach to meet the various psychological challenges or unforeseen problems that inevitably come up. David has an extensive aresenal of anecdotes, jokes, and pointed observations that (if you go back to study the game film you’ll observe) are actually zen puzzles designed to plant an important seed in the listener’s mind. And David can act decisively in a pressure-filled situation as well as any lawyer I’ve ever seen. Frankly, if you hire him to handle a really difficult case, then it won’t take you long to see that he actually enjoys the pressure.
David asked me, after the mediation was successfully concluded, to critique his performance and I told him I would. I hope he won’t mind if I do it here in public. Here’s my only criticism of his mediation practice. David needs to market himself better because right now he’s relying mostly on word-of-mouth to let people know about his mediation services. Also, if I were him I’d market outside of Louisiana because his talents are too valuable to be used in just one jurisdiction. The legal system as a whole desperately needs more people like David. We need lawyers who can make lawsuits go away, not just appear. Frankly, I don’t think David’s highest and best use is as a lawyer or a mediator. He really should be a federal judge.
P.S. If you want a better practice, start using the 80/20 Principle.