By Paul T. Flick
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process used in lieu of formal procedures, where a neutral mediator attempts to help the parties come to a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator can facilitate negotiations, review positions, exchange offers, point out the best and worst possible outcomes, etc. It is mostly an informal process, but typically follows a general pattern of holding an opening session where all parties and their lawyers are present and then holding separate caucuses.
Lawyers should prepare for mediation ahead of time, but not overdo it. While all mediations are different and rely some on the style and skill of the mediator for a successful mediation, proper preparation by the lawyers for the parties sets the table for a successful, or unsuccessful, mediation.
So, in short, how should a lawyer prepare for mediation?
By C. Amanda Martin
Networking and education. If you’ve ever wondered why most people belong to the NCBA Litigation Section, it’s networking and education. Quite a few of you answered our recent survey – 164 of you, to be exact – and overwhelmingly that’s what you said. Over half said that you’d be most likely to attend a Section meeting if it had some kind of substantive program. About half of you said you would be most likely to attend a Section CLE if it were closely related to your field. (That answer sounds obvious, but it beat out CLEs that were inexpensive or in fun or close locations.) And asked what you most valued or would like to see in our Section, again and again you answered “CLE or other high quality education” and “networking opportunities.”
You’ve spoken, and we’ve listened. Your Section Council got together at the first of this month in a planning and brainstorming session to discuss how we can best serve you and give you what you want. Here is what we came up with.