“A Dealmaker’s Distinctive Approach to Resolving Dollar Disputes and Other Commercial Conflicts”
James C. Freund, former Skadden, Arps M&A transactional attorney turned mediator, is the author of the engagingly written and interesting new book Anatomy of a Mediation (Practising Law Institute 2012). Mr. Freund’s “anatomy” is a clinical tour, by a very wise guide, through the mediation process.
The book’s subtitle, “A Dealmaker’s Distinctive Approach to Resolving Dollar Disputes and Other Commercial Conflicts,” reveals the author’s perspective. Experienced as a dealmaker, Mr. Freund sees mediation as a negotiation, but it is primarily a negotiation between the mediator and the parties. Unlike many mediators who play shuttle diplomacy, transmitting offers and counter-offers back and forth, Mr. Freund prefers to negotiate with the parties, until he can bring them within the range of magnetic attraction necessary to draw them together to settle their dispute.
Mr. Freund’s approach is “distinctive” because it is his approach, empirically based on his long career spent negotiating favorable outcomes where business interests clash. It is an approach that works for him. His approach is relentlessly evaluative, and assumes a relatively high level of legal and business sophistication among the participants. He is canny, shrewd, pragmatic, and cerebral, but clearly knows when to apply a dose of humor to ease a tense mediation.