Before The Mediation

I’m involved in a dispute. When should I mediate?

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Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia

People and businesses involved in disputes can use mediation at any stage of the conflict to resolve their issues: Before, during and even after litigation. As a general rule, it is best to start the mediation process sooner rather than later, because in most disputes tensions mount quickly and become worse over time. People become more entrenched in their positions and get more combative as the conflict wears on. Settlement is harder ...

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How do I start the mediation process?

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Hoga Kusten Bridge, Angermanland, Sweden

There are two parts to the question of how to get started with a mediation: (1) Getting the other party to the table and (2) Making arrangements with the mediator.

Getting the Other Party to the Table.
Anyone considering a lawsuit or who is already involved in litigation can propose mediation to the other party, although the approach will be somewhat different depending on how far along the parties are ...

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Do I need a lawyer if I choose mediation?

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Roebling Suspension Bridge, Cincinnati

Some parties come to mediation on their own while others have lawyers. In many instances, litigation is already pending and the attorneys recommend mediation to their clients as an efficient way to resolve the dispute and then actively participate in the process. The ultimate decision on whether to include an attorney in the mediation process rests with each party and will depend on personal preferences and the nature of the dispute.

Consulting with an ...

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If I don’t have a lawyer, can I bring someone to assist me?

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Stone Footbridge, Afghanistan

If one of the participants wants to include a third-party in the mediation process, he or she is free to do so, provided there is no objection from the other side. Sometimes having a support person or other advisor can be helpful to the process. This is often true in community disputes and in cases where one side feels intimidated by the other. It is important that each party speak for himself to the ...

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Who should participate in the mediation?

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Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge, St. Petersburg, Russia

Bringing the right people to the mediation will have a significant impact on whether the session is a success. There are five separate topics related to the question of who should participate: (1) Settlement Authority; (2) Conflict Discussion and Brainstorming; (3) Attorneys; (4) Witnesses; (5) Guidance and Disclosure.

Settlement Authority.
Because the goal of mediation is to resolve the parties’ conflict, everyone whose consent is needed for ...

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What happens before the mediation?

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Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey

The mediator typically holds a pre-mediation conference with the parties prior to the first session. This takes place either in person or by phone, depending on the circumstances of the case. When the parties are represented by counsel, the conference is sometimes held only with the lawyers. My preference is to have everyone participate in any pre-mediation conferences. This initial meeting is an opportunity for the mediator to: Explain the process, ...

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How should I prepare for a mediation?

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Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur, California

Two worksheets are available on my website that will help the parties prepare for mediation. The “Pre-Mediation Worksheet for Parties” is written in laymen’s terms and was designed for people not working with an attorney, although represented parties and their counsel will also find it helpful. Everyone is encouraged to answer the questions in advance of the session and then bring the completed forms with them to the mediation; this is ...

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