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A sideways look at mediation...

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10/09/2012

What do you mean "they've settled"?

A brief and probably-not-to-be-repeated return to advocacy in the last week of July proved to be an interesting psychological experiment. Having been meticulously impartial through several years of mediation and arbitration how rusty would I be as a partisan?

 

It is extraordinary how the advocate's mindset (if not his skill) snaps back into place. The task of "winning" grips the soul and one immediately becomes the embodiment of Sir Abraham Haphazard,  the fearsome QC who advises the bishop in Trollope's novel The Warden.

 

            "It was very clear that  to Sir Abraham the justice of the old men's      claim or the injustice of Mr Harding's defence were ideas that had never presented themselves. A legal victory over an opposing party was the service for which Sir Abraham was, as he imagined, to be paid; and that he  according to his lights had diligently laboured to achieve, and with probable hope of success. Of the intense desire which Mr Harding felt to be assured on fit authority that he was wronging no man,..... that he might sleep at night without pangs of conscience ...;     of such longings on the part of Mr Harding Sir Abraham was entirely ignorant; nor indeed could it be looked on as part of his business to gratify such desires. Such was not the system on which his battles were fought and victories gained."

 

To cap the whole back-sliding business came my  vivid sense of disappointment at learning that the clients had reached a  (no doubt prudent) settlement just before the arbitrators' award was delivered.

 

Now where's the fun in that?