The Litigation Funnel

(excerpted from a post on my mediation blog)

In a talk I heard yesterday at the Southern California Mediation Association annual conference, Lee Jay Bermanused the metaphor of a funnel to describe how how the legal system squeezes the issues involved in conflicts to the shape of a dried-out hamburger patty, so that most of the concerns of the participants in the dispute get left out of the process.  So one could think of the legal system as a kind of meat grinder.  And the mediator has the job of putting some flavor back into the squeezed-out meat, and adding some new ingredients to the mix.
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