Reframe the Game: A Winning Paradigm for Mediating Sports Cases

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“My ego demands — for myself — the success of my team.” — Bill Russell

I had the opportunity to mediate a high value business dispute a few years back. The CEO of one of the parties, a globally recognized sports business, attended with his key people. He was quite engaged throughout the mediation, providing context, background information, and suggestions for the negotiation itself, including proposing possible areas of compromise. Far from letting his attorney speak for him, the CEO was front and center in the negotiations. He was very intense, intelligent, and was clearly a very successful businessman. However, what I remember most about him was his determination to get the case settled at mediation. As the mediation day wore on into the evening, when everyone else was tired and ready to call it quits, the CEO spoke up. He told us, “I’ll stay as late as it takes. Just me and the mediator, and we’ll stay and keep working with the other side.”

Originally published in Entertainment and Sports Lawyer on November 1, 2017.

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