Why Gravity Payments Would Benefit from Mediation

GravityAs reported in the Seattle Times recently, Gravity Payments co-founder Dan Price CEO, is facing a lawsuit brought by his brother and co-founder, Lucas Price. Profits that could be going to help fund Dan Price’s decision to pay his employees a living wage of $70,000/year may end up being used to pay litigation costs. Not to mention the relationship costs.

When family members disagree over business matters, emotions run high. As trust erodes, so does the relationship. But siblings don’t ever stop being siblings. When they don’t get along, family gatherings suffer. Parents and children suffer. Alienation and loss of community sets in.

Both brothers probably know this and usually when a lawsuit is filed between family members, it is not done without having tried to talk first. What many people still don’t know is that a mediator can make a big difference in helping the parties resolve highly emotional issues they haven’t been able to resolve themselves while saving them time, money and further emotional distress. A mediator skilled in communication techniques may be able to discover interests that underlie the reasons the suit was filed and help the parties work through the legal issues so that both sides feel like their rights as well as their feelings are being addressed.

Lawsuits are grueling and expensive affairs. Complaints are written to persuade a third party to award what is being sought, not to explain why offense was taken or negotiations broke down. In mediation, parties can discover what problems are beneath the surface, work on resolving those sometimes seemingly unrelated problems and smooth the way towards coming up with a solution that works for everyone.

More and more lawyers are realizing the benefits that early dispute resolution and mediation can provide their clients. Mediators who are also lawyers are becoming more sensitive to helping parties resolve not only the legal issues but to achieve psychological and procedural satisfaction as well.

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