Mediation affords parties a way to avoid expensive trials by providing a common sense approach to resolving disputes. Its advantages include:
- Greater Control Over the Outcome
I confer with counsel before mediation to discuss submissions of confidential mediation statements, logistics, and to get their opinion as to how best to approach the case. Sometimes parties prefer to go straight to caucus while in others, the parties prefer starting jointly with each side presenting opening statements. Other matters to be discussed may include the order of issues to address, what preparatory efforts might be helpful, if there are documents to be exchanged, who should be present and who may participate on standby.
Once the mediation begins, I use a facilitative approach to give each party an opportunity to present their case in their own terms. As the mediation progresses, I look for common ground and help the parties to focus on their real interests and priorities in areas where differences remain. After I get to know the participants and learn more about their case, I often move to reality testing and eventually evaluation, if requested.
Mediations are flexible and fluid, and there is no one way to handle every situation. Since people differ in how they approach disputes, I find it important to understand a person’s objectives and how one determines what is reasonable and fair. There are many ways to help parties with settlement negotiations, and after many mediations, I have learned what often works and what doesn’t. I work hard to keep everyone comfortable and focused on the benefits of settlement, enjoy the challenge, don’t give up easily and try to “think out of the box.”
I welcome in-person, virtual, and hybrid mediations where some participants appear in-person and others virtually.