January seems to be a popular month for birthdays among my friends, with six celebrations in three weekends. Mostly, my husband and I have been able to attend together. But when the parties overlapped this past weekend, he went to one party and I to another. Though I called the other party to wish my friend a happy birthday, the call was no substitute for actually attending the party.
The conundrum of party attendance has me thinking about attendance in mediation. Some recent developments have revived the issue of what constitutes attendance, and who should attend. General consensus among neutrals, it seems, is that whenever possible, both parties in a dispute should attend mediation in person. (more…)