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The ‘Mother Rule’

The Virginia Bar Association held its winter meeting in Williamsburg this past weekend. Attendance was good, very good. Maybe we really have turned a corner.

One of the CLE sessions I sat in on involved advocacy in ADR, providing a panel’s reaction to a wide array of points about arbitration and mediation. Here’s one item – how you handle your clients in the opening session of a mediation.

Richmond lawyer Dave Harless was one of the panelists, and he mentioned he sometimes is reluctant to get parties together at the outset of a mediation. He said he had one client who “violated the Mother Rule” right away, going off on the other side.

The “Mother Rule”? What’s that? asked Doug Rucker of Richmond.

“You don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in front of your mother,” Harless answered.

“Maybe he had a tougher mother,” offered Rucker.

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