Start with an open mind and open ears, then make sure the decision maker is there. Be prepared to understand the expectations of the other parties involved.
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What do you bring to a mediation to get your case settled?
The mediator’s role instead is to help the parties to litigation resolve the case through a process that gets each side to:
identify the strengths and weaknesses of their case and making a good risk/benefit analysis
understand that this is a compromise – a win-win by which the parties each accept what they need, even if they don’t get every thing they want, and
agree on a solution.
Bring an open mind and open ears. Listen to what the other side is telling you, trust your lawyer and let the process and the mediator work for you.
Make sure the decision maker is there, and if there might be someone who cannot attend that has some authority, make sure they are available to talk by phone.
If there are medical bills, liens, or other obligations, try to have those compromised before you come – or have the numbers of other decision makers on those liens so the mediator can talk to them during the day. At the very least, let those lien holders know that you are in mediation and may need them to compromise too to get it done – grease the skids so the first they hear from you isn’t while you are at the mediation table!
Bring documents – but only the important ones – the 4 or 5 that will make your case – or you think will break the other side’s case.
Leave the army of friends and supporters at home. They cannot make the decision for you and can give you the false bravado that keeps your case from settling – if there is someone who will not have to pay if the case is lost – they should not be giving you unsolicited advice.
Be prepared with your expectations and hopes, but be ready to understand the expectations and hopes of the other parties too. That is the key to getting a settlement – being adaptable and open to a win-win… the other side does not have to lose for you to have a win.
I look forward to seeing you in mediation and YOU resolving your case!