When approaching litigation and arbitration disputes as a mediator,
Jonathan believes that out-of-court settlements are possible with most proceedings, once parties are influenced to be more open to alternative points of view and the benefits of a negotiated settlement verses the risk, uncertainty, and costs (both monetary and personal) of pursuing a conflict through either litigation or arbitration. Since the primary dynamics of a pending conflict can be anticipated, but often not predicted, Jonathan approaches every matter with an open mind about each party's views, sensitive to the fact that different people may have different styles and speeds at which they communicate, listen, or become ready to accept a negotiated, compromised resolution.
As Jonathan learns about each party's positions, he constantly reassesses how to best facilitate further dialogue and negotiation. This has ranged from proceedings that have succeeded with a significant level of direct communication between all parties to matters which could only be resolved with virtually no direct contact between adversaries. Since many of his resolved matters have involved court-ordered proceedings, with parties initially hostile to the mediation process, he has learned to be patient, flexible, and persistent when faced with parties who may initially appear incapable of reaching an out-of-court settlement.
While Jonathan’s experience with commercial real estate and construction (as a trial and transaction attorney and business manager) helps him to quickly understand the substantive issues of most conflicts, he also works to carefully perceive and address, as necessary, less obvious personal factors that may be impacting a conflict. Once he is able to facilitate general terms of settlement Jonathan further encourages, and usually assists, parties and their counsel to promptly document written agreements that are less susceptible to future misunderstandings or additional disputes.