1 PerspectiveFebruary 23, 2013
As a longtime participant in the mediation process my primary focus has been its impact on my clients’ litigation — it’s one way cases get resolved, which saves us all money, time, risk, and more. But yesterday I got another perspective on mediation, and I was reminded that it is, truly, Something Bigger. My perspective came from Gene Roberts at North Texas Negotiations who, along with Adam McGough, chairs this year’s Annual Conference for the Texas Association of Mediators.
Gene’s remarks begin with the traditional perspective of a conference chair, but the message he gets to is unmistakable:
The conference is run by volunteers. There’s no paid staff. We’ve done our best and we ask for your indulgence if something unexpected happens. It’s not for want of planning or trying. Life has not afforded Adam and me the necessary reprieve to handle everything perfectly, but we’ve done our best and will continue to do so. Please know that we’ve put every bit of time, energy, and effort to make this conference one that will benefit you and ultimately, the public we serve. We’ve done everything we can to provide you with the most inspiring, genuine, and dedicated people we know. We especially want to thank two members of your board of directors, Meg Walker and Toylaine Spencer for their hard work, behind the scenes, in putting this conference together.
Adam and I want to think some people who have put up with us for the last year and while they are not members of TAM, they have played a crucial role in this conference’s success: our wives, Lacy McGough and Celeste Roberts, and our children Noah, Cooper, Eli, and Jackson. They’ve spent nights and weekends without us while we’ve worked on this conference. Lacy and I spent Valentine’s Day of 2012 looking at hotel properties. She’s spent a lot of time helping to plan the conference and managed to have Eli last month in a complicated delivery. Celeste spent time stuffing your conference bags, allowing swag to cover our living room floor, and putting up with me. Celeste joked with me on Sunday that she’ll be happy when this conference is over because she’d like to have her husband back. This may be an example of being careful what you wish for. Both of our families have sacrificed in many ways over the last year. But they do so with great joy because they believe in us, they believe in the mission of this organization, and they believe in this profession. So to Lacy, Celeste, Noah, Cooper, Eli, and Jackson, “thanks so much.”
This conference is the most important conference in the history of TAM. This conference is the most important in your professional career. Mediation is at a tipping point in Texas and time is short: will we go over the cliff, or can we continue this wonderful public service called mediation. We hope this conference will help prepare all of us for the next leg of this journey. More…
1 PerspectiveAugust 2, 2012
(Update: This presentation is now available on SlideShare via this link.)
Tomorrow I’ll be joining my longtime friends Frank Vecella and Robert Manley to present “Effective Litigation Management: Doing a Good Job at ‘Herding Cats’” at the TexasBarCLE’s 11th Annual Advanced In-House Counsel Course. This project has been fun, productive, and educational so far, and we’re looking forward to Friday.
Hyperlinks to the PowerPoint and the Paper
The slides we plan to present, and the paper that accompanies the presentation, are available in the following formats using the following hyperlinks:
- The Paper, in .pdf format, can be accessed using this link.
- The Presentation, in PowerPoint format, can be accessed using this link.
Take a look at the presentation — you’ll be glad you did.