Abraham Lincoln said this: “Discourage litigation, persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”

For businesspeople embroiled in intellectual property disputes, Lincoln’s words from the 1800s continue to ring true today.

Mediation is a confidential proceeding and may be thought of as the shuttle diplomacy of alternate dispute resolutions (ADR) that provides a pathway to solve disputes beyond litigation. In mediation a neutral party – a mediator – works to help the parties sort through their issues and reach a compromise.  The mediator does not take sides and does not share information unless instructed to do so. The results of a mediation are not disclosed unless a settlement is reached, in which case the only disclosure is the fact of a settlement, not the details of the agreement.

Mediation is often a cost-effective process by which parties can try to narrow the scope of, or potentially resolve, their disputes. Whether pre-litigation or as a result of a court ruling requiring the process, alternative dispute resolutions like mediation are paths that Friedland Vining frequently counsels its clients to follow.

David Friedland is both a litigator and an experienced mediator, specializing in intellectual property disputes. He feels strongly that being an active litigator, helps him stay sharp and well-prepared for his role as mediator. His extensive experience as a mediator has taught him the value of listening well to both sides, in order to find common goals which can lead to a successful outcome.

A recognized leader in the mediation field, David is the current chair of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee within the International Trademark Association, and is on the Association’s Panel of Trademark Mediators. He’s often asked to contribute to legal panels highlighting the benefits of mediation to brand owners, including speaking at both the 2017 and 2018 International Trademark Association Annual Meetings.