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Mediation is replacing trials as a way of settling many legal disputes, but that doesn’t mean we’ve moved from formal to informal. Mediation is as closely structured as a court trial, but in less obvious ways.

Retired Idaho Judge Duff McKee, who has served as a meditor in thousands of cases, details how all this works in Mediation Mechanisms, a new book just published by Ridenbaugh Press.

“I wrote this book about the process of settling civil lawsuits for money through negotiation. It’s about tactics and strategies collected by me in over fifty years of practice, including more than thirty years on the bench and in a limited private practice, working to assist in the settlement of cases throughout Idaho and the surrounding states,” McKee said. “Although centered on the process of settling civil lawsuits, the techniques and strategies examined here might be used by anyone involved in a high pressure, confrontive, competitive negotiation to value.”

Mediation is used in many kinds of cases. Mediation Mechanims is focused on “distributive negotiation,” cases where damages occur and money is sought. But many of the principles McKee highlights apply as well in cases involving family law and other kinds of disputes, and even many kinds of everyday interactions. The book is aimed at lawyers but written directly enough to be helpful to any reader.

McKee includes “a mediator’s dream” – a fictional case showing how an effective mediation can work from start to finish.

Former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Robvert Huntley called it “a wonderful book – wish I had the benefit of it 30 years ago.”

Idaho Falls trial lawyer Don Carey says, “The book provides a wealth of insight into the mediation process, all in one easy-to-read resource that reads like a novel – enjoyable, with just enough anecdotal examples to keep the reader interested. A well organized and comfortable read about mediation by one who has lived the process.”

Judge Duff McKee is a retired district court trial judge on senior status, engaged in providing alternative dispute resolution services throughout Idaho and adjoining states. He was honored by Idaho State Bar with its Professionalism award in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law and has been a member of the Idaho Bar for over 52 years. He lives and practices in Boise.

Mediation Mechanisms is available from Ridenbaugh PRess; its main web page is at http://ridenbaughpress.com/duffmckee/mediation-mechanics/. It also is available from Amazon.com and through many local book sellers.

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