Should You Care if It’s Fair?
BY GARY WEBBER
Using the example of two brothers at a mediation Gary Webber examines our inherent sense of fairness. “It is a basic human need.” he says. During settlements Gary often observes that both parties spend a lot of time thinking about what the other side should or should not be entitled to. Can you relate to his description?
Two brothers had at one time been great friends. So much so that they bought a commercial property with the intention of running a business together.
Sadly, they fell out and into dispute. They agreed that the property should be sold but could not agree on the financial implications. Who had put in what? Who had done most? Who should get what?
As with most mediations, the brothers, their lawyers and accountants started the day by focusing on their respective “positions”. They were right, they had a strong case. The other side’s was clearly weak. Each brother, supported by his team, emphasised what he had contributed, what he was entitled to, what was fair.