Ranges and Brackets — Impasse Busting Techniques for Your Consideration

The negotiation has ground to a halt.  The parties have been at it all day and they are frustrated that there remains a big distance between them.  The negotiations have proceeded in a traditional incremental way.  Plaintiff’s last number is over $1,000,000 and the defendant is stuck at $100,000.   At the rate things are going, it would take days to bring them into a zone of agreement.  Again, this is an opportunity for the mediator to strut her stuff.  Possible techniques to break the logjam include a consideration of ranges.  For example, the mediator might suggest the following:  Would you, defendant, settle the case in the low six figures meaning between $100,000 and $300,000 if the plaintiff would accept a number in the high 6 figures, $700,000 to $900,000?

If the parties do not like the mediator’s numbers, then the discussion turns to what numbers they would consider.  This is an invaluable discussion from the mediator’s perspective. It gives the mediator information about where the parties are willing to settle and provides a means to determine whether and at what ultimate figure the case can settle.  If the parties agree to the suggested range, the mediation has taken a big step forward toward settlement and compromise can ultimately be reached.

Bruce A. Friedman Appointed as Arbitrator to IFTA

Bruce A. Friedman has been appointed as an arbitrator on the Independent Film & Television Alliance (“IFTA”) Arbitration Panel.  IFTA was created by the American Film Marketing Association, the trade association of producers and distributors of independent film and television programs as its arbitration system to resolve entertainment industry disputes relating to production, finance, and distribution of independent films and television programs.
The members of the IFTA panel are distinguished attorneys with substantial experience in litigation and complex entertainment related transactions. Bruce, who was appointed to the Los Angeles Panel, is looking forward to participating alongside his esteemed colleagues. He will contribute his knowledge and vast litigation experience in connection with the financing, distribution, insurance and bonding of independent films.

CA Court of Appeal Rules on Arbitrator Disclosure

Recently, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, ruled that an arbitrator in a legal malpractice/attorneys fee dispute did not violate the disclosure requirements in the California Arbitration Act when his disclosure statement did not disclose the following: That he [the arbitrator] was a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Appellate Executive…