Emperor’s New Clothes is an old children’s story by Hans Christian Andersen about an emperor who pays a lot of money for some new magic clothes which can only be seen by wise people. The clothes do not really exist, but the emperor does not admit he cannot see them, because he does not want to seem stupid. Everyone else pretends to see the clothes too, until a child shouts, “The Emperor has no clothes on!” The title is often used to describe a situation in which people are afraid to criticize something because everyone else seems to think it is good or right.
Bias and bravado cause litigants and their lawyers to overlook or underestimate what is missing to prove and win a lawsuit.
You can pay a lot of money to confident lawyers who might tell you what you want to hear and promise to go to the ends of the earth to try to prove your version of a controversy or dispute. However, you should rely on a lot more than just a confident lawyer when deciding how to settle a personal family matter or a business dispute. Sometimes, it takes a “child” eyed view from someone unbiased, unaffected or afraid to cry out the obvious, and objectively point out the challenges, flaws and missing pieces in both plaintiff’s and defendant’s views of their case. A mediator’s observations give everyone involved, a unique opportunity to see their case from a new perspective. Mediators are neutral and they are not afraid to ask tough, critical questions, questions that if left unanswered might leave one or both sides with false impressions, faulty logic and a foolhardy desire to unnecessarily protract the litigation.
It’s not compromise when you decide to give up something you never had.
People file and defend lawsuits based on their beliefs. However, beliefs, without more, are worthless in court. Lawsuits are won and lost based on laws and facts. No one wants to admit that they might not be able to prove their claims or defenses in court. Although it may hurt to admit this, the pain is not caused by compromise, rather its caused by common sense enlightenment. The pain gets worse if a party waits to be called out in public by a judge or jury after parading around for months or years in a lawsuit wearing “magic clothes.” Don’t wait for this to happen. Instead, engage a mediator to confidentially try to help everyone get the best deal possible under the circumstances.
The mediation process empowers the parties to become more enlightened “Emperors.”
Knowledge is power. In an adversarial lawsuit, knowledge is NOT easy to come by. Parties share as little information as possible because what is said might be presented to and used against them by the ultimate decision-maker, the judge or jury. You never get the full story in court, you only get as much knowledge as the opposing party chooses and is forced to disclose. In mediation, however, the pressure is off. Mediators are not the decision-makers. Mediators are legally required to treat your discussions with them as confidential. What is said in mediation stays in mediation. As such, confiding in a mediator can’t hurt you. To the contrary, mediators can only help, especially when provided with reasonable confidential knowledge from both sides. Mediators can then see the extent to which both sides are relying on some “magic clothes” putting mediators in a unique position to help tactfully guide the negotiations while still preserving all confidential information. Learn more.