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Each mediator has his own list of the toughest issues that can arise in mediation. Some say that breaking deadlock should top the list. Mine are perhaps more idiosyncratic. They are:1. making sure that each party has full authority to settle the dispute;2. negotiating sharing agreements among defendants in multi-party cases;3. getting a party’s lawyer to recognise that his position is ‘wrong on the law’ or its application;4. turning the parties away from positional bargaining;5. stopping myself from substituting my expertise for that of the parties; and 6. terminating the mediation – when and under what circumstances.

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