Mediation Hollywood-Style

12 Jun

I must admit something: I’ve been known to watch some reality T.V., most of it on the Bravo network. I’m not particularly proud of it, but I’m glad I tuned in the other day because I happened to catch an ad for a new show called, “Untying the Knot.”

It’s about a divorce attorney and “top mediator,” and, of course, I HAD to watch!

I caught the first show today, and I watched as a California mediator helped a divorcing couple split up the last three assets in contention: an apartment in Paris, the engagement ring and wedding bands, and a buddha statue.images

According to the show, she has a “three-step process.” First, she visits the couple in their home. Then, she appraises the value of the items in contention. Finally, she meets with the couple to tell them her recommendations.

What was most interesting was the fact that she wasn’t “mediating” at all! The parties, actually, never sat down to have a conversation toward mutual agreement. Instead, she listened for about three minutes to each regarding why the objects belonged to one or the other. Then, the appraisal. Then, her recommendations. Next, they could decide to take it or leave it.

So, here we are folks. That’s the reality-show version of mediation.

If it were only that easy.


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