As a practical and less expensive alternative to litigation, mediation can help disputing parties reach a mutually agreeable solution with the help of a neutral third party, such as an experienced mediator. The process, which is usually entered into on a voluntary basis by both parties (except in the case of court-mandated mediation), is private and confidential, and, most importantly, results in the participants deciding on an outcome that makes the most sense for them, as opposed to a decision made by a mediator or a judge.
You should prepare your client to be a full participant in the mediation, and ensure they are able to state and explain the facts of their case.
What does a mediator do?
While parties may start at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what would constitute a good outcome for each of them, it is the role of the mediator to constructively guide them towards a happy medium or a creative solution with which they can both live. A mediator who is effective at managing interaction and facilitating open communication can have an enormous impact.
Do empathy and compassion have a place in mediation?
One of the most important factors in a successful mediation is the ability of each party to find empathy for the other’s interests. Your client doesn’t need to admit fault; they can adamantly believe in the merits of their case, but also recognize the inherent risks to both parties in going to trial. Unlike at a trial, showing empathy and being conciliatory at a mediation aren’t signs of weakness; a little compassion can go a long way towards arriving at mutually agreeable terms.
This Blog Series
Over time, this blog series will cover everything you need to know about both mediation and arbitration. I hope you’ll find this blog informative. For additional information visit www.barryarbus.com.
The next blog will focus on preparing your client for mediation. Stay tuned!