Zacks Resolution, LLC May 2015

David ZacksAND SO IT GOES!

Spring is absolutely my favorite time of year. It always feels like a rebirth of the Earth - refreshing, flowers blooming and birds chirping. What’s not to like!

In April, it was topped off for me when Jordan Spieth won the Masters. Several years ago, I was fortunate to take my sons on a golf trip to Scotland. Jordan Spieth and the Walker Cup team were right behind us on the course. We met Jordan after the round. He could not have been nicer and we even shared a beer.  It is so rare for a 21-year-old to win the Masters. He tied the Course record and never fell behind in any one of the four days of this tournament. In other words, he had a goal in mind; he was a grinder and just never let up. But at all times, he was a gentleman and I observed him commending his opponent on the final day when he sunk a putt that put him closer to Jordan’s score. 

We can certainly learn from this experience as we enter our field of dispute resolution.  Keep moving ahead, do not get discouraged, and have respect for your opponent.  It has been a productive few months in which I have been a part of facilitating resolution of cases from medical malpractice to bankruptcy.  I am appreciative for all the good lawyers with these attributes, who’ve found a path to resolution. 

I’m also appreciative of being asked to share my experience with others. On May 1,
I spoke on “The Art of Negotiation in Mediation” at the Dispute Resolution for Trial and Non-Trial Lawyers seminar in Augusta, Georgia. And in early April, as a former debate team winner myself, I was doubly honored to give the opening remarks to the Atlantic Coast Conference debate championship teams held at Wake Forest University. 

Well, there’s still a little springtime left. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to seeing you during upcoming mediations!

David Zacks, President
Zacks Resolution, llc  


Quote: “The road to success is always under construction.” Arnold Palmer.

Tip: I always enjoy any message from Arnold Palmer, the most famous Wake Forest alum I can think of. This one is so true. Just as in life, the road to success is always being built because there are rocks in the road. The same is true in trying to resolve our disputes between parties. Keep it in mind. The road can get rough, but don’t let it get you off course. 


A good friend of mine, Rick Packer of The Table Group, sent me the book, “Give and Take” by Adam Grant. It will change your ideas about how to succeed at work and life.


Several weeks ago I experienced the country of Peru, combining hiking, business and fun. During my time there, I was fortunate to hear a number of Peruvian leaders speak and discuss relevant topics of the day. I got to know the leading environmental journalist, Barbara Fraser. She related a story about a businessman who had a proposition for a small village on the Amazon River

The businessman, coming from another country, wanted to drill in the Amazon River near this village. Several weeks prior to his visit, he learned that one of the chiefs of this village lost his son in a drowning accident in the river. The businessman met the village chief and expressed his condolences for the loss of his son. The businessman was about to explain how his company’s drilling activities could be profitable, but before he could, the village leader said, “There is no need to express condolences over the loss of our son. We have not lost him. Although our son drowned, he is not dead. He lives under the River. The River and nature are the same as God. We do not disturb nature. We do not upset my son by upsetting the River.” The businessman left and went home without disturbing the river.

Barbara Fraser was letting me know that our way of thinking is not the only way of thinking. It may not even be the best way of thinking. As we attempt to resolve disputes, whether we are a party, counsel or the mediator, we should always remember this story and seek to understand the other side’s position.


“There is no time like the present, and no present like time.” Think of the gift of time you give your clients when you achieve a successful resolution through mediation rather than a trial.