Mediators At Work: Termination Tempest

Marjorie Corman Aaron and Dwight Golann

An unscripted, realistic demonstration of the mediation of an employment dispute


Mediators at Work: Termination Tempest is an unscripted, realistic demonstration of the mediation of an employment dispute. The mediation is based on the facts of the Termination Tempest role simulation, also available through the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center. Plaintiff Pat Thibideau had worked at Kane Restaurant Supply for fifteen years before being terminated at age 66. Thibideau sued Kane under the Federal Age Discrimination Act, alleging that the termination was pursuant to Kane’s illegal mandatory retirement policy. The case has been in court for approximately one year, and substantial discovery has been completed. At Kane’s suggestion, the parties and their counsel have agreed to try to settle the case through mediation.

Unrehearsed and unscripted, the video features experienced mediator Margaret Shaw working with the two parties (played by actors) and their counsel (played by attorneys). Shaw uses a combination of joint session and private caucuses to help the parties settle their dispute. While the original mediation (over four hours long) was edited for time, the overall flow of the mediation was preserved. Producers Dwight Golann and Marjorie Corman Aaron offer a brief introduction to the mediation, along with occasional explanatory commentary during the session itsel.

Dwight Golann is Professor of Law at Suffolk University in Boston. His areas of academic interest are dispute resolution and consumer financial services. Golann is the author of several publications in alternative dispute resolution including the book Mediating Legal Disputes, which was named co-winner of a national prize awarded to the best book published in the field of alternative dispute resolution.

Formerly the Executive Director of the Program on Negotiation, Marjorie Corman Aaron is a Visiting Assistant Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Practice in Negotiation  and Problem Solving at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She teaches courses in alternative dispute resolution, mediation and negotiation.


Mediators At Work: Termination Tempest Attributes

Time required:
Teaching notes available:
Produced by:
Marjorie Corman Aaron and Dwight Golann Program on Negotiation, 2004
Run Time:
90 minutes

PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.