Last time, I wrote about a New York Times article, by John Schwartz, “More Delicate Diplomacy for the Overseer of the Compensation Fund,” describing Kenneth Feinberg’s recent swing through Louisiana in his work as administrator of the BP claims fund. Feinberg’s work is often described as that of a mediator, which may be in a stretch in some ways.
But some of his work captures the essence of mediaiton. He knows, from extensive experience, about the pain of those who are making claims. As Feinberg put it in the article: ” ‘ If you are not willing to go into the lion’s den and confront the emotion and the hurt, you shouldn’t do it. ‘ ”
I’d suggest that’s a man working as a mediator, not an arbitrator simply determining a loss and announcing an award.