Mediation 101: What should I expect?

Posted by: David Fitzsimons Category: Mediation, Mediation 101 Comments: 0

Q: I have a case which is going to Mediation; do you have any suggestions about what I should or can expect from the Mediator in the way of preparation?
A: One of mediation’s strongest attributes is that the process is flexible enough to accommodate any needs and expectations of the parties. Often an experienced mediator will recognize the need to take the time to educate all participants in the process and expectations going in.

 While approaches of individual mediators can vary considerably based on substantive issues as well as personal preference; almost all agree today that a thoughtful “Pre-Mediation Process” can not only streamline the actual mediation session, but also greatly enhance the opportunity for a successful outcome.

Pre-mediation can be as simple as a telephone conference call with the lawyers and/or parties to the mediation, or can include reaching an agreement upon submissions of written materials prior to the actual mediation meeting. Developing consensus amongst the parties, with the mediator’s involvement on even rudimentary issues, such as dates and locations, submissions to the mediator, can set the stage for subtle shifts in party perspective that prove invaluable as the mediation effort goes forward.
Such thoughtful groundwork, if conducted well can in effect guide the parties towards more positive ways to express their views on the conflict, and establish opportunities to view the dispute from the “…other guys’ perspective.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.