Having mediated many recently-filed cases in half-day sessions, I know: Early mediation works; half-day sessions are ample in the majority of cases; and most settle and yield satisfying results with less damage to heal from. Of all, the greatest thing I’ve learned is that people are more capable (and desirous) of settling than realized.
There is more to be said, but here are some basic tips for successful half-day sessions:
- Recognize and mediate soonest the cases which pose the greatest risk of diminishing returns. The well being of your client and your practice are both good reasons. (Related post: Beware of Diminishing Returns)
- Be determined to be efficient and finish within the time allotted. You’ll move boldly in a shorter time and be more decisive.
- Come with your information in hand. Bring chronologies, statements, legal support, etc. to substantiate your assertions.
- Come to terms with what information you lack and the cost of possibly obtaining it, and valuate accordingly.
- Do not get distracted by what you might find with a little more time or discovery. Chances are, others could obtain something more helpful to them, too.
By mediating with someone experienced and practiced at this pace, and who is mindful and helpful in working with these factors overall, you’ll be able to make the most of the settlement opportunity.