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Influences on Parties Involved in Commercial Contract Disputes in San Bernardino CA

Greg Wood Dec. 2, 2022

When parties seek to mediate technical, intellectual property, contract, or commercial or business disputes in Southern California two questions must be addressed: What is the real reason for the dispute, and what underlying factors exist that might influence the resolution of the dispute?  Once the mediator identifies these issues, he or she can address them so that the parties can focus on the main issues.  Some underlying influences could include:


The personalities of the people and representing attorneys can have a significant impact on the dispute itself and the mediation process.  An aggressive approach adopted by one or more of the persons involved may result in a defensive or aggressive response which will negatively impact the possibility of resolution. The mediator sensing this can take proactive steps to change or at least mitigate this dynamic by adopting a caucus approach and serving as a filtering of the communications between the parties.


When people’s livelihoods and reputations are on the line, things can become heated.  There may be strong feelings on both sides.  The mediator can identify feelings of betrayal, disrespect and disappointment by empathizing with the party sharing this information and then can guide the parties back to the main reasons why they are at mediation.

Risk Tolerance 

A significant influence on the parties can be risk tolerance. If a party is financially stable and wants to assert its rights at trial, this party may be more likely to pursue litigation than accept mediation terms that it is not satisfied with.  In contrast, a small business that was not anticipating a legal fight may be more willing to use mediation to help resolve the dispute because it is a less risky prospect than having a decision made against it at trial.

Financial Needs and Limitations 

Similarly, the financial needs and limitations of the parties can affect them.  If the plaintiff needs funds more quickly than litigation would allow, mediation may be