Want to Kill a Mediation or Negotiation? | Aug 12, 2021

Want to kill a mediation or negotiation? These three statements will do it! Most mediations start with a joint conference. Since it sets the tone for the rest of the negotiations, you want the joint conference to go well. So here are three things you should avoid saying during your opening statement. 1. “It’s all […]

6 Things you NEED to tell your Mediator | May 11, 2021

As a mediator, I can do a better job helping you settle your case if you tell me these 6 things.  Most mediators are happy to read the information in advance (I know I am), or you can lay it out during the opening conference.   1. The basic facts   You have lived with […]

When Emotions Get In the Way of Settling a Case | Mar 22, 2021

“I’ll never settle with those people!,” snarled Charles (not his real name) as he slammed his briefcase down on the conference room table.  “We’re here because the judge made us mediate.  But we are not willing to settle with those people, ever.”  Charles’ client nodded emphatically beside him. “They fired my client for no reason.  They have fought […]

How to Mediate When Your Client is Unreasonable | Dec 7, 2018

Back in the 90’s, our firm got a $104 million dollar verdict – counting punitive damages – for the family of a 17-year-old who burned alive in a fuel-fed truck fire. Shortly after the verdict hit the papers, we were preparing another client for mediation in her case. She had been hurt in a car […]

Blindsided at Mediation? | Nov 1, 2018

Part 1: The Blindsider At a recent mediation, the two parties were really far apart on their numbers. After I caucused with both sides, I realized that the defendant knew critical information that the plaintiff did not know. It was no wonder they were so far apart on their numbers! — They were evaluating two […]

Do You Need an Opening Statement at Mediation? | Oct 29, 2018

The last blog post I wrote about whether you should make an opening statement at mediation. I gave four key reasons why you usually will want to make an opening statement. Here’s a checklist to help you decide when to make an opening statement, when you can skip it, and the one circumstance when you […]

Should You Make an Opening Statement at Mediation? | Oct 23, 2018

When I speak at CLE events, the most frequent question is: Should I make an opening statement at mediation? The answer is almost always an emphatic yes. This blog will cover some of the key reasons you will want to make an opening statement.   Reasons to Make an Opening Statement   1. To show […]

7 Things Lawyers Should Bring to Mediation | Oct 18, 2018

  Be sure to stick these 7 things in your bag when you pack up to go to mediation. Number 5 may surprise you – it did me! If possible, bring old-fashioned paper copies of the documents. If you are short on planning time, you can always pull up the documents you need on your […]

Easy Ways to Write A Mediation Brief | Sep 26, 2018

Mediators often talk about wanting to receive a “mediation brief” before the mediation starts. The term is unfortunate because it implies the mediator is expecting a specialized, formal document. Faced with writing (and billing for) yet another formal, legal document, many lawyers elect not to send anything at all to the mediator. Today I want […]