A Super Bowl Mediation Thought/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on February 3, 2017

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Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, is known for his pragmatic and generous approach to life. He is also a significant force in the great success of his football team. He was recently asked by a writer for the NY Daily News about his relationship with the Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell. Mr. Goodell was the man who handed out a four-game suspension to the Patriots superstar quarterback, Tom Brady. It is ¬†understatement to say that Mr. Goodell is not well-liked by the Patriot’s loyal fans. Mr. Kraft was also fined a huge sum of money by the Commissioner in the incident known simply as Deflategate. (In short, Mr. Brady had been accused of having the game footballs he used in a title game underinflated, against League rules, so he could get a better grip on them.) This is what Mr. Kraft said about the future relationship he and Mr. Goodell might well have: “I don’t know if it will ever be the same, but in order to do what is best for the Patriots franchise long term, I believe it is best to comparmentalize and move on.”

If you are having a dispute with a spouse, partner, or anyone else for that matter, you would do well to think of Mr. Kraft’s words. Consider long-term needs. Compartmentalize. And move on. This is a wonderful application of the thesis of pursuing Win-Win. Mediate don’t litigate. Know when it is time to move on. (Though the team did in fact litigate as well, they knew when it was finally time to move on. Do the same, but without the litigation drama!)

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