I practiced law for over 30 years, and I am still a licensed attorney. For most of those years I was a litigator. That means that I went to court and tried cases. Many of my cases were in federal court and involved police misconduct. I represented the police. Often these cases would last for years. As the lawyers wrangled over each and every small point trying to gain an advantage, the parties lived in a perpetual hell waiting for justice. Meanwhile, the costs ran into the hundreds of thousands. More often than not, at the end of it all, neither side was happy, and after 30 years, neither was I.
I often thought there must be a better way to resolve disputes. Actually, there is, and it is called mediation. Mediation is a voluntary process where the parties meet with a neutral party who assists the parties in reaching an agreement. It is cheaper than litigation. The parties are at least satisfied, if not happy when it is over, and I am happy that I helped two parties resolve a problem in their lives. I will share some of my past experiences with you as well as my new adventures at Henning Mediation on this blog.
I always look for a silver lining in eavery situation, and, as onerous and pressure-laden as litigating was, the silver lining is that a lot of my police clients turned into friends. One such person who I successfully defended enons ago is Major Blanche Nichols. She was head of police personnel at the time and was sued on a personnel matter. We still laugh about that experience today. Of course she has a quilt, right, because most important things in my life turn into a quilt. Here is her quilt called simply Major Blanche.