Please don’t submit your complaint or MSJ as your mediation statement.
To give me an idea of what the dispute is about, please exchange and email me mediation statements (5 pages max) a week before the mediation. They should:
- List who will be attending the mediation from your side and their title/relationship to the matter.
- Describe briefly the substance of the claim, addressing the party’s views of the key liability issues and damages and discussing the key evidence;
- Describe the history and status of any settlement talks;
- Identify what else do I need to know (any needs, interests or other considerations); and
- Include copies of documents likely to make the mediation more productive or to materially advance settlement prospects (only the key docs and tell me what sections are important). Please do not attach hundreds of pages of exhibits.
At the mediation, you and your client should be prepared to answer the following:
- What are your goals: big and small? Think about what you need short of a full settlement. For example, one party just wanted to get a demand. Another wanted to information about insurance coverage. Yet another wanted an efficient discovery plan if complete settlement dwasn’t possible. One wanted to be heard.
- What is keeping the case from settling? And no, saying the other side is being obstinate is not really an answer.
- What ideas do you have to overcome them?
- What needs of your clients must be met in order for a resolution to be reached?
- What needs of the opposing party must be met in order for a resolution to be reached?
- What are the consequences for each side if no settlement is reached?
- What is your estimated budget through trial?