Spotlight On Frank Laney

DR Spotlight is a Q&A series that focuses on Dispute Resolution Section members.

Frank Laney is Circuit Mediator for the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. He lives in Cary with his wife, Anne, who is principle flute with the N.C. Symphony. Laney teaches Mediation Advocacy at Campbell Law School and goes to Belarus yearly to work with mediators there.





Q: Give me one practice tips to help beginner mediators?
A: People tell me I am a good mediator, and the one trait they remark upon is that I am patient or stubborn, depending on your point of view. I think most new mediators try to move too quickly and give up too readily. Have confidence that the process will work, so relax and give it time.

Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
A: Think about the day ahead and make my plans.

Q: What gives you energy?
A: Mediating. I love working with people, talking with them, hearing and trying to understand them, helping them see how they can resolve their own problems.

Q: What’s your secret life hack?
A: Loving what I do and doing what I love.

Q: Name a book that changed your life.
A: “The Source” by James Michener. It displays the history of a region, Israel, over thousands of years, and it showed to me how history, even a long-ago history, impacts our present-day lives. History must be known and paid attention to.

Q: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
A: I check email more than once an hour, unless otherwise engaged – at a movie or a ball game.

Q: How do you deal with email?
A: I get too much.  A large amount I pitch after barely reading, much I read then leave to deal with later, and have trouble getting back to. My inbox is full of opened but unresolved emails.

Q: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
A: Read.

Q: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
A: I do not burn out.  I like to stay busy and find that I feel like I am on the edge, not able to get it all done.  But if I ever catch up, I find myself bored quickly.

Q: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
A: Service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy on earth.