The Minecraft Compromise: Finding new ways to get what you want

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” ― Henry Ford

Shaina Colover
2017 August

This past Saturday morning, as I groggily prepared breakfast and sipped my morning coffee, I overheard a familiar conversation between my two children about Minecraft. For those unfamiliar with Minecraft, it’s a video game that enables players to design, build and play in a 3D world. My 8-year-old Loves it. He can’t get enough. Much of his camp-free time this summer has been devoted to both playing Minecraft and creating scenarios in which his 11-year-old sister will have to play Minecraft with him. She, however, is “over” Minecraft, (preteen eye roll and dramatic exit stage right), and has no desire to play whatsoever. Therein lies the rub.

Although he is apparently undeterred by her repeated rebuffs, because day after day he engages in the Same pestering pitch, with no success… I cannot listen to it one second longer. Two cups of coffee consumed, both eyes reasonably open and figurative mediator’s cap perched on my head, I turned to the counter where he remained seated indignantly and begin to offer some unsolicited advice. Although my words were carefully chosen for an 8-year-old, the gist of my message was the same I would give to one of my legal colleagues facing an impediment in their road to mediating an important matter:

  • Treat failure as a lesson on how not to approach achieving a goal, and then use that learning to improve your chances of success when you try again. (Richard Branson) • Tenacity is wonderful, but as they say, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” The solution seems simple enough: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try (something new) again.
  • You’re in a much better position to talk with people when they approach you than when you approach them. That means creating an environment where they feel they can approach you, and keeping your eyes open for opportunities, like when they raise the issue themselves or approach you on a related subject.
  • Engage with one’s counterparts on the basis of equal footing and mutual respect, address shared concerns and achieve shared objectives. (Hassan Rouhani)
  • We’re completely subjective; our view of the world is completely controlled by who we are as human beings, as men or women, by our age, our history, our profession, by the state of the world. Try to understand where the other person is coming from, what they want, what motivates them and what they would consider a victory and a bottom line. Then be sensitive to and respectful of these things while in negotiations.
  • Don’t give up. Failure is only the end if you decide to stop. (Richard Branson) That means, do not allow yourself to get discouraged and give up OR to give ultimatums or say things you don’t mean out of frustration. Keep your cool and your eye on the prize!

You can’t beat the man who never gives up!” — Babe Ruth


OCTLA Listserv, Deposition Bank, and Coming Soon – Document Bank!

There are many benefits to becoming a member of OCTLA. Not only do we have wonderful monthly MCLE dinner programs the 4th Thursday of the month at Tustin Ranch Golf Club, (including Reptile Closings on 10/26/17); we have lunch & learn programs at the courthouse on a wide array of helpful trial topics (next one is 8/23/17); a new and improved ListServ for our members to share information and ask advice; a well-stocked and user friendly deposition bank; a Trial Calendar so our members can watch and learn trial skills from seasoned trial attorneys in the County; and many mixers and social events throughout the year (including our Family Baseball Night in August and our Columbus Day Golf Tournament in October). For more information, please check out our website or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Eli Home – Restoring safety and hope to the lives of women and children in Orange County

After careful vetting of many worthy organizations, OCTLA selected The Eli Home as recipient of the proceeds raised during our Top Gun Awards Gala on December 2, 2017 in Newport Beach. The Eli Home was founded in 1983 as a “place to call home” for abused women and children in Orange County. The mission of the Eli Home is to “welcome, shelter, comfort, heal, encourage and strengthen homeless victims of child abuse and family violence, and prepare them to reenter the community to lead stable, non-violent lives, free from fear and intimidation.” Since this 34-year journey began, Eli Home has proudly helped 37,926 children and their families. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to make a significant difference for this fine organization this year. All proceeds of the Top Gun Gala silent and live auction will benefit The Eli Home. Please consider contacting us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to donate an item or service to the Silent Auction.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” — Winston S. Churchill

Shaina Colover Shaina Colover

Shaina Colover is 2017 President of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association and practices personal injury law with her dad at The Law Offices of Ronald B. Schwartz, upstairs from Muldoon’s Irish Pub in Newport Beach. She serves on the CAOC Diversity Committee and is former chair of the OCBA and OCTLA education committees.

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