Tips For Clients In Mediation
Mediation is becoming a popular method for settling disputes to avoid the long, stressful, and costly process of preparing for a trial. Mediation allows the parties to communicate their views in a safe and confidential setting with the goal of settling the case in a mutually beneficial manner. However, the mediation process can bring its own set of uncertainties for a client who has never participated in one before. Even with your attorney by your side, mediation can be intimidating. Continue reading for some tips to remember as you enter a mediation.
Tip One: Be prepared to give and take. The process of mediation relies on the idea that each party is willing to give up some of what they want in order to get some of what they want. This means that the result you end up with may not be everything you hoped for. This also means that the other party is unlikely to be totally happy with the result as well. Even though the legal process is adversarial, mediation allows the parties try to work together to settle the case before trial.
Tip Two: Mediation is the last opportunity to control the outcome of your case. What you say in a mediation matters because it is your last formal chance to find a mutually beneficial resolution to the case. After mediation, a trial is on the horizon. At trial, a judge or jury will determine which party is right and which party is wrong. Besides presenting your case in the most favorable light, you have no control over what the fact-finder decides. On the other hand, mediation allows the parties to navigate the key details of a settlement themselves in order to obtain an end to the case.
Tip Three: Consider the potential costs of continued litigation when evaluating a settlement offer. When the settlement offers are presented in a mediation, it is important to remember that the settlement offers you hidden savings. If you agree to a settlement, you are saved the costs of attorney fees for pre-trial litigation and trial preparation, as well as court costs. In addition, it is important to consider the time and energy you will have to spend personally if you pursue it to trial. Even though the settlement offers may not be as good as you hoped for, it is important to consider the unknown potential costs of additional litigation and trial. Keep in mind that the other party is considering the costs of continued litigation, too.
Tip Four: Understand the role of the mediator in a mediation. The job of the mediator is to motivate the parties to give up some of what they want in order to reach an agreement. In order to do this job, the mediator may try to persuade you into agreement by offering the mediator’s own evaluation of your case. These evaluations may sometimes be harsh or dramatic representations of your case, and you may not agree with the mediator. Remember to take the mediator’s comments in stride because the mediator is trying to achieve a resolution to the case and will probably be just as harsh and dramatic when evaluating your opponent’s positions. If you have questions about your case, consult your attorney at the mediation when the mediator is out of the room.
Now that you have a few tips to prepare you for mediation, you may have questions regarding your own unique circumstances. Contact an attorney at Kelly & Brand, Attorneys at Law, LLC for sound legal advice tailored to your situation.