Gini Nelson\’s Engaging Conflicts

August 15, 2006

The People Must have Law and Order, By Guest Rawle Andrews Jr., Esq.

Filed under: Attorneys and Mediators - No Conflict Here!,Ethics — Gini @ 12:40 pm

Mediator David B. River and attorney mediator Rawle Andrews Jr., Esq. continue their dialogue about the respective roles and ethical obligations of mediators and attorney mediators. This is Rawle’s latest post; David will respond next week.

In a perfect world, there is no conflict so there is no need for laws to establish the rules by which we conduct our business and personal affairs. We need look no further than current events in the Middle East to recognize that we are not perfect, and we do not live in a perfect world. Despite this constant state of imperfection, however, our world is governed by laws, rules and regulations, whether we personally agree with certain of these laws or not. There is no other explanation for sovereign states to yield in the midst of an emotionally-charged war, or for Jimmy to return something that Sara loves, other than that the failure to yield has consequences.

Although humankind has tried for centuries to create a perfect body of law (e.g., Hammurabi’s Code, etc.), there is little argument today, particularly in the Western world, that the Law cannot solve every problem. If it did, we would have stopped enacting laws after the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were adopted and disbanded all legislative bodies. The converse has been true since before the establishment of our Republic, and for good reason. As we evolve, our laws must evolve to meet the issues of our time.

The reason I submit that the Law is the end game simply is because anarchy reigns in the absence of laws. Our world cannot function humanely without laws; but we do know our world can and has persevered for ages without Mediation, and will do so tomorrow if the Law so commands. For example, if the legislature(s) of this great land decided tomorrow that the Mediation experiment was a failure, would state borders cease to exist? No. Would anarchy reign supreme? No. Would the economy come to a screeching halt? No. Would real estate prices fall flat? No. Would people stop getting married and divorced? No. Would Jimmy be obligated to replace Sara’s belonging after he broke it? No. But, on the other hand, think of the adverse impact on any of the foregoing situations if we repealed all the laws, and abolished the judicial system: World War; nuclear holocaust; unstable currencies; and a survival of the fittest mindset.

The Law provides a forum, rules of engagement and a systemic process for the “orderly” resolution of disputes, whether we want to be present for the verdict or not. Nothing more; nothing less. Nobody says you have to like the result; you might not even understand the result – – but we all know where to obtain the answer. Under the Law, the fastest, strongest, richest or loudest is not guaranteed victory and does not always win the argument, even when these proponents have every conceivable advantage to get the word out. In my humble opinion, we “want” Mediation because it is sometimes easier to ingest the result from this type of glassware than when taken by hand or by water hose. In the absence of the glass, however, if we are thirsty we are going to drink because we “need” the Law.

Best wishes,



1 Comment »

  1. Rawle makes a great point. In the absence of law we would most assuredly have anarchy. And if anarchy was the rule of the day, how would or could you mediate out of it?

    In today’s everyday life we make conscience decisions on everything. We make decisions on which school is best for our kids, what car is best on gas mileage, what to have for dinner, where we should go on vacation, whether to buy gas or food, etc. The public at large should also have the ability to decide if their dispute could be resolved through mediation, but not as the only recourse. The public needs to have a learned opinion to assist them in deciding which is better for them. Mediation or Trial. They need choices.

    There is a great line in the movie “The American President” that states, “They [the people] don’t have a choice……… People don’t drink the sand because it’s there, Louis. They drink the sand because they don’t know the difference.” The public at large needs to have a choice to resolve their disputes. They need to know that there is a difference in the outcome of their dispute, depending on which avenue they choose to take. In the end, it is their decision which is best for the outcome they desire.

    Mediation has its place in today’s world, but it would not be an option unless the law allowed for it. As I said earlier in this blog, you wouldn’t have mediation without the law and the law is what allows mediation to take place.

    I look forward to your next comments in this discussion.

    Best regards,

    Comment by Don — August 22, 2006 @ 6:05 am | Reply

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