The Mediator in Action

The Mediator: A Family Feud Settled

By William Ury It was a family feud. Dan and Sally were in the middle of an acrimonious divorce. Sally's father Jim, who had employed Dan in his business, refused to pay him for work he had done. Furious, Dan sued his father-in-law to recover his lost wages. The judge, however, suggested that they try talking with a volunteer mediator first. I was the volunteer; it was one of my first mediation cases twenty years ago. Dan, Jim, and I sat in a little room in the courthouse. Clearly a little uncomfortable, they would not at first even look one another in the eye. I ...

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The Mediator: Crushing Grapes and Narrowing Rifts

Simona watched as a dark shadow crossed her grandpa's face. The conversation had briefly touched on Daniel, and the whole table grew silent. Then conversation picked up again with the nervous focus of people trying to change the subject. "Isn't this lamb wonderful?" and the conversation continued. Grandpa just glanced at the door. He was not one for many words so Simona and the others might never know what he was thinking. Daniel, her father Augustin's brother and Grandpa's first son, had not been at the family table in 15 years. When communism was a reality in Romania, ...

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