Recently, when logging on to Linked In I chanced to look at the “what people are talking about now” section that pops up on my homepages. On this particular day I noted that a number of the topics related to employment or business-related issues hence 6236 people reading “thank you emails help get you hired” and 7659 people noting “Samsung profit set to drop 60%”. In similar vein 35,475 readers noted “New grads pick friends over perks”
However, even this last by no means insignificant number of readers was quite significantly outnumbered by the 41,964 who were recorded as having demonstrated an interest in “The Bezos divorce settlement”. As lawyer, judge and mediator i.e. as a professional for whom the concept of confidentiality is an absolute, I was disappointed if not surprised by this. Presumably the headline refers to Jeff Bezos of Amazon whose marital issues have already been given prominent headlines in the media.
In one sense it is understandable that a prominent personality’s divorce issues would attract the odd raised eyebrow. However, my strongly felt view is that the intricacies of such matters are for those specifically involved and should not become the focus of media and public scrutiny.
Equally, I very firmly believe that not only should people’s private matters be theirs and theirs alone but that possible brief mentions aside, the intricacies of such cases should not be published even on a reputable medium such as Linked In. In expressing this view, I am not just concerned about the interests of the people directly involved in this particular case. In society as a whole there is an unpleasant tendency to view cases such as this in a salacious, intrusive manner that discredits each and every single individual reader or enquirer. (I should add that beyond noting the LinkedIn headline I have not read anything substantive about matters that this headline alludes to.)
Accordingly, I appeal to Mr Bezos (or indeed any others who find themselves in similar circumstances) to draw a line and remit any possibly outstanding issues to mediation where their privacy will be properly respected. I cannot help but think that there is at the very least a risk that unwarranted external scrutiny may have a negative bearing on negotiations and suspect that in all probability, away from the public glare they will be able to progress matters in a much more cost-effective and timely manner. I have no doubt that there are many very well-qualified U.S. based or international mediators who could provide an excellent service.
Ironically, by publishing this blog I am unintentionally drawing attention to this particular case but I trust all who read it will see it as well-intentioned and as making an important point.
Principal Director of ASM PLUS, civil/commercial, workplace, employment, family and educational mediator and trainer with a judicial/legal background. He has knowledge and expertise in dispute resolution in a wide range of areas and disciplines and mediates online.