30 Tips for Preparing for Mediation

  1. Mediation is a great opportunity to settle, make use of it.
  2. Consider mediating before litigation is commenced.
  3. Carefully pick your mediator.
  4. Arrange for production of documents priort to the mediation.
  5. Meet with counsel prior to mediation.
  6. Give thought to the interests of the other party and how you might meet the need.
  7. Identify the crux of the dispute.
  8. What additional information would you like to have?
  9. Do not develop a bottom line prior to the mediation.
  10. Determine yiour BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated settlement)
  11. Your statement of issues is a tool – use it wisely.
  12. Your statement of issues should not be the same as your pre-trial memorandum.
  13. Have a representative attend the mediation.
  14. Send a representative with authority to enter into a settlement he/she feels is appropriate.
  15. Ensure that a representative of the opposite party attends and that the representative has full authority.
  16. Use the opening statement to set a tone.
  17. The opening statement should not be the same as an opening at trial.
  18. You should say something during the opening.
  19. Take time to recognise the validity of the other party’s point of view, even if you do not agree with it.
  20. If there are aspects of the other party’s viewpoint that you agree with, highlight these as a way of establishing good rapport.
  21. Stay involved in the conversation.
  22. Listen closely.
  23. Make use of your mediator.
  24. Give thought on how to structure your offer so as to make it more appealing and / or create momentum.
  25. Avoid describing your offer as your last offer or bottom line.
  26. Recognize that it is not all about money – at least not all of the time.
  27. Be persistent in your pursuit of a settlement.
  28. If a settlement is reached, get it in writing.
  29. If a comprehensive settlement cannot be obtained, look for opportunities to settle an aspect of the dispute, consider alternatives to ongoing litigation or establish a timetable.
  30. Remember, you do not have to settle at mediation.

Want to learn more, check out our webinar “How to prepare for mediation – 30 tips in 30 minutes‘.

Steve Kelly Lisa Langevin