Creativity in Mediation: Article by Teresa F. Frisbie, Esq.

ADR Systems


A new article by Teresa F. Frisbie, Esq., published on October 26, 2015 in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, discusses the absence of creativity in the daily work lives of the legal community, and explains how mediation can fill this void.  Entitled, “In Mediation, Let Your Creative Spark Light up the Process,” the article explores the creative opportunities mediation offers attorneys, especially in regard to opening statements and settlement options.

Unlike opening statements in trial, opening statements in mediation do not have to stick to the evidence at hand.  This flexibility allows counsel to be creative in how they address the other side.  For example, counsel can use the opening statements process in mediation to issue apologies, explain their client’s background and values, or use visuals to support their position.

Attorneys also have the opportunity to be creative when brainstorming settlement options.  For instance, mediation allows parties to consider non-monetary ideas for resolutions, such as community service, payment plans, or revised contracts.

As Ms. Frisbie explains, creativity is not only acceptable in mediation, but also one of the most important skills of a good negotiator.

When experiencing a creative block in mediation, one problem-solving technique Ms. Frisbie suggests is creating a mind map.  A mind map is a physical representation of a problem that you and your team can create to better visualize the matter at hand, helping you come up with ideas more easily.

To read the full article, click here.

Teresa F. Frisbie, Esq. is a senior mediator and arbitrator at ADR Systems, and the director of Loyola University’s Chicago School of Law Dispute Resolution Program.  Ms. Frisbie’s expertise includes elder law and family business matters, employment law, and commercial matters.

For her full bio, click here.

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Miles Dore, Esq.Partner, Cifelli, Scrementi, & Dore, Ltd.