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On a warm summer afternoon in Century City, litigator David Halberstadter and mediator Greg Derin sat down over lunch. Their wide ranging conversation turned to a subject near and dear to both.

Published in Gimme 5 Column of the Los Angeles County Bar Update

I love baseball. As a child, I admired the rhythm of the game, its deceptive simplicity, requiring remarkable proficiency and accuracy. It is on one level an unforgiving game, judging those guilty of imperfection as having committed an “error.” Yet on another, yesterday’s goat is forgiven as today’s hero. As I have matured, I have come to appreciate more of baseball’s lessons. While facilitating mediations, I have watched these lessons play out again and again.

To relieve their over burdened dockets, courts regularly attempt to squeeze square pegs into round holes. While access to public institutions, including dispute-resolution mechanisms, is an ideal, resources are not available to achieve this without compromising other client interests, such as timely disposition with its ancillary benefits.

In appropriate cases, parties should weigh the cost of the full range of private dispute-resolution mechanisms against the losses incurred by waiting for access to the limited public options available. The cost of the private dispute resolution mechanisms discussed below is minimal compared with the expenses and client time that will be dissipated by extended litigation.

Published in Verdicts and Settlements

It’s all about weighing the interests for mediator Greg David Derin, who has turned 30 years practicing business and entertainment litigation into a successful mediation practice.

“Mediation at its best seeks to determine the interests of everybody that’s involved in the process, not just the interest of your client but the interest of the other side, and to try to find a solution,” he said. “The best way to find a solution is to at least be attentive to the interests of everybody else involved in the process.”


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