Editor’s note: This article appeared originally in The Advocate, the newsletter of the NCBA’s Young Lawyers Division.
When The Advocate asked me to write an article about helpful tips for having an effective mediation, I took some time to reflect on how my personal preparation and tactics for mediation have changed over the last 20-some years. Civil litigation/mediation slowly but surely morphed from a passive “Well, let’s show up and see if we can settle at mediation” attitude, to an active “What do we need to do prior to mediation to secure a favorable settlement?”
Fundamentally, your client cares little about litigation drama. Your client cares about getting a good result that is cost effective and timely. Mediation can deliver all of that in spades. But, like almost anything in life, getting there takes some work and prior planning. Several hours of careful thought, strategy and planning about 60 days prior to a mediation will greatly increase the chances of having a successful mediation.