Neutral Donald Cripe, appointed by the court
Neutral Donald Cripe, appointed by the court to attempt resolution of an acrimonious family probate at the time it was called for trial, did an awesome job in crafting a settlement that responded to each party's specific needs. One party was represented and the other parties were self-represented. Despite the painstaking care Mr. Cripe took to explain, read and secure the self-represented parties' consent, they reneged on the settlement, denied they understood its terms (despite agreeing to it in open court) and the probate judge sided with the self-represented litigants. After so much work, it was disappointing and the parties are headed back to trial. I find this to be an insult to the mediation process, especially when Mr. Cripe did such a thorough job. Unless both sides are self-represented, or both sides are represented by counsel, mediation may not be helpful. Regardless of the outcome, the mediator did his job!
D.J. C. 8/29/2016