As a neutral mediator, Bob’s job is to help you bring your dispute to a reasonable conclusion. If this were easy, you would have settled your differences some time ago, so this process can be challenging for both sides. Bob has no stake in the outcome and can help you to understand the strengths and the weaknesses of your situation, leading to a more likely way to understand and settle your case. He will listen carefully to you, your facts and your legal interpretations, and your practical needs. He may act as devil’s advocate and challenge your thinking, both as to your evaluation of the cost and outcome of your case and to possible solutions for settlement. Not all cases will settle. However, Bob’s broad experience in how the real world works can help you design a settlement that works for both parties.
Confidentiality is essential to mediation. All conversations and information that you give to Bob will be treated as confidential unless you tell him that it can be shared with the other side.
BEFORE MEDIATION OCCURS
1. Mediation Briefs
Please provide Bob with a mediation brief that includes the following:
- Key facts, including short summaries of key deposition testimony and key documents
- Legal authority
- The procedural situation
- Analysis and basis for relief sought
- Prior settlement discussions
- Any other information that you believe is relevant
Brevity is encouraged because it will focus your analysis and argument. Additional details can be provided in mediation as needed.
Please consider sharing your brief with the other party. That will give more context for the mediation.
If you wish, you may provide Bob with a separate, confidential letter that sets out additional facts, risks, evaluations and other issues that you want him to consider in mediation. Additionally, these issues can be discussed in confidence with Bob prior to mediation.
2. Discussions before Mediation
Prior to mediation, Bob will attempt to talk with counsel to better understand your position, the strengths and weakness of your case, and your settlement goals. Also, Bob will discuss any particular needs or concerns that you may have, any roadblocks that you see to settlement and what you think must occur for settlement to happen. Unless you say otherwise, these discussions will be confidential. During this call, we will also discuss logistics of mediation, including who will attend and basics like internet access, lunch, etc.
3. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement
Prior to mediation, Bob expects all parties to fully understand that the process is confidential. Therefore, he will provide a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement for the parties to sign. If there is any concern about this agreement, he will discuss it with you before mediation.
4. Discussions With Your Client
It would be very useful if you could discuss the following with your client.
- It is best to come to mediation with an open mind about your position and how you expect your case to be resolved.
- Mediation may be the only place where you will be able to tell your story. In court, the boundaries and formalities of the law can interfere with your ability to do that.
- The great value of mediation is that you can control the outcome. You may craft any solution that is legal and are not bound by the formalities of the courts. In particular, you can design solutions that are not within the usual boundaries of what a court can order.
- It is important to keep in mind that all litigation involves cost and risk. While you may truly believe that you will prevail, no one can control the outcome of litigation. And “costs” are not only monetary. Litigation requires extensive time – for preparation and for the actual litigation. Most litigation also involves substantial emotional involvement. A mediated settlement can ease both of those costs.
- It is very important that the right people – the decision makers – are present at the mediation and that they are prepared to stay the entire time.
- Mediation is a process. It can take time. Please be prepared for this.
Please contact Sonia Patel Dalton at (949) 929-8932 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information about fees. Fees include all time spent in convening the mediation, pre-mediation telephone conferences, review of briefs, document and legal authorities.
Fees must be paid before mediation occurs and will be refunded if mediation is cancelled more than 10 days before mediation is scheduled. If cancelled after that time, all reasonable attempts will be made to reschedule mediation. If the matter cannot be rescheduled, the entire mediation fee will be charged.