Jeffrey Krivis

Jeffrey Krivis

Jeffrey Krivis has mediated thousands of cases since 1989. He and his partner, Mariam Zadeh, are the principals of First Mediation, based in Encino. He regularly handles cases in San Francisco and Carmel/Monterey.

Articles written by this author:

Hunting for deception in mediation: Winning cases by understanding body language

Deciphering deceit, much like the game of chess, is about assessing your opponent’s strategy

Jeffrey Krivis
Mariam Zadeh

2007 September


The truth about deception in mediation

While deception can provide a bargaining advantage, it often comes at a cost

Jeffrey Krivis

2007 December


Dealing with lack of authority

What to do when defense counsel says, “I don’t have authority...”

Jeffrey Krivis

2008 March


When your client is out of control

When your client is out of control

Jeffrey Krivis

2008 May


How to settle a multi-party case where the defendants are fighting with each other over liability and coverage

How to settle a multi-party case where the defendants are fighting with each other over liability and coverage

Jeffrey Krivis

2008 June


What to do when the settlement numbers you put on the case are miles away from the defense perspective

What to do when the settlement numbers you put on the case are miles away from the defense perspective

Jeffrey Krivis

2008 July


Can a “take no prisoners” mediator help you maximize your recovery?

Can a “take no prisoners” mediator help you maximize your recovery?

Jeffrey Krivis

2008 August


When defendants are fighting each other

How to settle a multi-party case where the defendants are fighting with each other over liability and coverage

Jeffrey Krivis

2008 September


Using the Memorandum of Understanding as a draft settlement agreement to streamline settlement

Drafting an MOU at the beginning of negotiations gives you the control of the discussion that follows in the mediation

Jeffrey Krivis

2008 October


Setting the stage of negotiation

Engineering the negotiation prior to the mediation is the secret to maximizing results

Jeffrey Krivis

2008 November


Making your settlement story stick

“Selling” routine cases and increasing their value requires making the case’s message “sticky.”

Jeffrey Krivis

2008 December


Dealing with “the gap” in negotiations

The “ideal” result is an expectation that no reasonable negotiator would ever expect to achieve in a situation where compromise is essential

Jeffrey Krivis

2009 January


Use a ballot to settle multiple claims at the same time

Here’s a simple but effective technique that works most of the time when there are multiple claims

Jeffrey Krivis

2009 March



The elephant in the room

When the client’s spouse gets involved

Jeffrey Krivis

2009 July


The OODA Loop

Using a military strategy to defend attacks on your case

Jeffrey Krivis

2009 August


Mediation: Learn to speak your adversary’s language

Speaking and hearing the same “language” goes a long way to promote favorable settlements

Jeffrey Krivis
Mariam Zadeh

2010 February


The truth about deception in mediation

Minimize your risk of being exploited in a negotiation where the other party is lying

Jeffrey Krivis

2010 April


The electronic curtain: Mediating through e-mail

E-mail can be a two-edged sword in achieving a settlement. Make sure yours is clear

Jeffrey Krivis

2010 June



What tribe are you in?

With warring tribes, mediation can seem like a bad episode of “Survivor”

Jeffrey Krivis

2010 September


Saving face: Lessons from Google’s tiff with China

The secret is to allow one’s opponents to make concessions gracefully, without having to admit that they made a mistake or backed down

Jeffrey Krivis

2010 October


A Touch of Grey

Attorneys are often stymied when deciding what approach to use in mediation

Jeffrey Krivis

2011 February


Try a workaround

Finding a workaround to satisfy an irrational party in multiparty meditation may get the settlement back on track

Jeffrey Krivis

2011 March


“Reverse engineering” the settlement of a punch press case

The defense will do a risk analysis of their exposure to a jury verdict. Use it to get into a settlement zone

Jeffrey Krivis

2011 April


Using a focus group when your case gets locked up

Listen and learn from the mock jury panel’s deliberation

Jeffrey Krivis

2011 June


The windup before the pitch

Starting mediation with “tiger blood” still flowing is usually a waste of time. Wait for emotions to calm

Jeffrey Krivis

2011 July


Setting the anchor

A mediator can be an effective anchorman: Offering security in a contentious negotiation

Jeffrey Krivis

2011 August


The diminishing shadow of the courthouse

The state budget crisis promises to deliver devilish delays in the civil justice system. Will this render private mediation less effective, or could it present opportunities for more productive mediation?

Jeffrey Krivis

2011 September


Mediation in the woodshed

Navigating the jurisdictional dilemma

Jeffrey Krivis

2011 November


The crystal ball of mediation: Predicting success at trial

How accurate is the mediator in his or her basic judgment?

Jeffrey Krivis

2012 January


The reptilian need for closure

Your closure needs at mediation may be different from the adjuster’s

Jeffrey Krivis

2012 April


Why litigators become less intelligent in group-mediation settings

Does high pressure create a “dumbing down” syndrome?

Jeffrey Krivis

2012 August


“Take this!”

Steps a mediator can take to keep negotiation on track or restart it when all seems lost

Jeffrey Krivis

2012 September


Negotiating the reverse auction in class-action cases

How can the “prisoner’s dilemma” work in mediation?

Jeffrey Krivis

2012 November


The transactional mediation approach: dealing for dollars

Offer more options to settle than in traditional bargaining

Jeffrey Krivis

2013 February


Guitar logic in mediation: Cowboy chords vs. jazz

Learning from the guitar how to value your case

Jeffrey Krivis

2013 May


The soft touch: The village elder

Wearing the right hat can affect the outcome of a high-stakes mediation

Jeffrey Krivis

2013 July



What movie do you want to make?

Writing the script for your settlement the way a screenwriter creates a movie

Jeffrey Krivis

2014 March


The settlement drift

Has cultural lethargy invaded mediation? Why is there no sense of urgency?

Jeffrey Krivis

2014 July


The negotiation campaign

President Obama got elected twice because of his messaging. What’s your mediation message?

Jeffrey Krivis

2014 October


The settlement drift

Mediation has drifted from the expectation of 25 years ago that it would be “the final act” in the litigation drama

Jeffrey Krivis

2015 September


Mediation Matters

How did they price the file?

Jeffrey Krivis

2010 March


Where have all the idealists gone? Long time passing

An essay on the future of mediation – and a look at its past

Jeffrey Krivis

2016 March


Making some music with lawyers: Where have all the mediators gone?

The original idealism in mediation has largely been lost as economics drives the idealists away

Jeffrey Krivis

2016 April



The evolution of hunters and gatherers

Don’t mediate a case before it’s ready unless you’re willing to settle for less than it’s worth

Jeffrey Krivis

2016 August


Building coalitions through storytelling

Building coalitions through storytelling

Lincoln the lawyer could tell a story. The story of the case must be told well, just like the unfolding of a movie or book.

Jeffrey Krivis

2018 August