Wednesday, January 20, 2010

“Pain Management” Our Specialty

“You are a pain management specialist!” The first time those words were said to me I thought to myself, “Huh, interesting turn of phrase”. The second time someone said almost those exact same words I thought, “Wow, what a coincidence”. The third time I heard them I figured I better write about the experience.

To be perfectly frank, maybe the third time shouldn’t count.

I was first labeled a pain management specialist during the “end-game” of a very difficult business dispute mediation. In the Liaise method of mediation end-game occurs when the parties in conflict have essentially agreed that they are going to stop, or avoid, litigation and come to settlement terms. At that point the tensions in the room evaporate and everyone’s blood pressure returns to normal. One of the parties was very relieved, thanked me, put a hand on my shoulder and declared, “We were really suffering and you are a pain management specialist!”

I live to hear that stuff. It really made me feel great. I get paid well for my services, but the satisfaction I receive is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

The next time I heard very similar words was at the end of a high-conflict divorce mediation. The parties had been going at it hammer and tong for over a year and had each spent well in excess of $40,000 on attorneys. A family friend of theirs had recommended that they call Liaise before they completely wiped out their home equity and retirement plans.

During the Liaise managed mediation they soon came to realize that their attorneys had been fueling their fire-fight and that many of the “issues” they were contesting were in no way proportional to the amount of money, energy and life-blood they were expending. [There are ethical, high-minded, family law attorneys out there, but if you hire a smiling shark you are in for the ride of your life! And I don’t mean that in a good way.]

As the couple worked steadily through all the terms and conditions of a comprehensive Marital Settlement Agreement they each confessed to one another, and me, that the litigated divorce process had actually made them physically sick. Headaches, sleepless nights, fevers, rashes, nausea, chest pain, stomach problems. A long list of ailments that they each said was attributable to the divorce battle they had been waging. The wife then said that the mediation process was, “really helping to manage the pain”.

Interesting, there it was again, Liaise Mediated Solutions, LLC performing pain management. I liked it. Made me feel good. Should I work that into a trademark?

The third time I earned the pain management specialist title had nothing to do with mediation, it was just one of those things and the spark that got me to put this all down in a blog article.

A couple of weeks ago I was standing on the BART platform waiting for a train to take me to my San Francisco office when a woman with a pained facial expression approached me. “Pardon me”, she says, “I have a blistering headache. Do you have anything to help me?” I replied that she was in luck and I had a foil wrapped packet of Advil Liquid-Gels, in my brief case. She thanked me took her bottle of water and immediately swallowed the medication.

I asked her why she happened to pick me from the crowd to ask and she said, “You look like a pain management guy”. Needless to say, I was floored. But, as Popeye the Sailor Man says, “I am what I am”.

Do yourself, your family, and your financial well being a favor and choose Liaise Mediated Solutions, LLC to help you navigate the treacherous waters of managing the painful situations of life.

David D. Stein has been an attorney for over 20 years and the founder of Liaise® Mediated Solutions. He is a trained mediator, dispute resolution specialist and lecturer on non-violent conflict management techniques and tools.

1 comment: