A mediation process option in danger of going the way of the dinosaur is the joint session. Lawyers generally hate them and often deem them counter-productive and a waste of time – “Can’t we just get down to business, go to our respective rooms, and start the negotiation process.” While some mediators may agree, virtually every well-respected mediator training program encourages the informed, selective use of joint sessions.
All experienced litigators and mediators know there are a number of action steps that will maximize the potential of success for their clients at the time of mediation. I’ve created a new category in the blog that includes tips for successful medications, which have served me well during hundreds of mediations where I have either either as a neutral mediator or have represented clients.
The right mediator and the right process are critical. There is not one mediation style or one mediation process that fits all disputes. One of the greatest benefits of mediation, like other forms of alternative dispute resolution processes, is the mediation event can and should be flexible and specifically tailored by selecting the “right” mediator with the “right” process best suited to resolve your unique dispute. The mediator’s personal style, as well as the mediator’s knowledge, background and experience, are critical factors to consider.
Thorough preparation is essential. Mediation may be the best and last opportunity for negotiating an off ramp that best maximizes the potential for achieving the client’s critical interests. In preparing for the mediation, counsel will consider many issues - here's a rundown.
Some parties believe the Mediation Summary is prepared exclusively for the mediator’s benefit to persuade the mediator. Others prepare these summaries for the purpose of satisfying their clients. Simply because the mediator may be convinced of the merits of a case or defense, or the client is satisfied with the tone and tenor of the Summary, does not mean the Mediation Summary will have accomplished an essential purpose.