The two mediations in the book Damages, illuminate much about mediation in today's litigation environment - even though they took place in 1993 and each was, in its own way, quite unusual. for that reason - and because we have few good detailed descriptions of real mediations - I have used these two mediations to teach in a variety of settings. First, they served as one of several focuses in the course based on this book, called Damages: A Case Study, that we taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Law in the winter 2002 and 2003 semesters. In that course, students did not have a uniform background in mediation; some knew a great deal and others knew just a little. Accordingly, I used Werth's descriptions of these mediations as opportunities to teach about the basics of mediation and its role in American tort law in order to give some insight into advantages and disadvantages of various mediation and mediation advocacy behaviors. Second, I used these mediations in courses in mediation and alternative dispute resolution at the University of Michigan Law School during the winter 2003 semester. In such settings, the students learned a great deal about mediation before encountering these case studies. As a result, the analysis could be more sophisticated and my presentation did not include much basic descriptive information about mediation. This essay is based primarily on the materials I developed for the Missouri courses. For that reason, it assumes the reader has very little knowledge of mediation and, accordingly, includes some very basic information about mediation that would be unnecessary in the other settings. It also assumes that the reader is familiar with the Damages book. When I do not ask students to read the entire book, I distribute a summary of the book and a list of characters, which resemble materials that appear earlier in this symposium.
Leonard L. Riskin,
Teaching and Learning from the Mediations in Barry Werth's Damages,
2004 J. Disp. Resol.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/jdr/vol2004/iss1/11