Cynthia stepped into a case that had been contentious and difficult, with the parties seemingly separated by an insurmountable gulf. She first succeeded in lowering the temperature and taking much of the emotion out of the negotiation. She then worked diligently with both sides to analyze the merits of claims and defenses and understand the respective risk tolerances. In the end, when there was still a fairly sizable gap, Cynthia proposed a mediator’s number that was close to perfect — higher than defendant was prepared to pay, lower than plaintiff would accept, but just close enough that both sides quickly agreed. She even stayed with it after the agreement in principle, helping to navigate some language and tax issues to get us across the threshold.