Efficiency Tips For Early & Half-Day Mediations

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.

About Maria Hanna Joseph

Maria Hanna Joseph is Principal of Joseph Mediation. Her 25 years of experience in employment law, include 16+ of work and mediating for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination which through which she has gained valuable insight into the MCAD, its practices and decision making. This, as well as her experience in plaintiff and defense litigation, with private and public sector clients, international and local business concerns, and in issues from harassment and discrimination, to noncompetition agreements, business operation, transgender workplace matters, retaliation and many others, lend her valuable perspective for understanding and mediating an array of legal and personal issues. In terms of volume, Maria has served more than 2,000 cases. Maria's practice has been honed with study of mediation at Harvard Law School's Program of Instruction for Lawyers, negotiation at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation, and in the disciplines of Transformative Mediation and Family/Domestic Mediation, which are significant assets in managing the personal nature of employment disputes, and conflict in general. Attorneys and parties know Maria as candid, pragmatic and persevering in her commitment to help them achieve meaningful settlements while keeping sight of their most important interests. The insight and creativity afforded by her experience and training are realized in the resolutions that manifest. These qualities, along with her demeanor and the trust she engenders, have earned Maria a reputation for being able to manage highly tense and fraught situations and individuals, and settle a wide variety of disputes and tough cases.
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