The mediator can be of great assistance even prior to the date of the mediation itself. Depending on the complexity of the case, involving the mediator in a pre-mediation teleconference is worth considering. In general, the parties may give a brief recitation of the facts of the case; what settlement negotiations have already taken place; what non-negotiable conditions might be in play; a discussion with respect to the submission of briefs prior to the mediation; whether the briefs will be exchanged; and any other topic that will help to make a more efficient use of both the parties’ and the mediator’s time.

A discussion about the creation of a structure for the mediation process and seeking the mediator’s input prior, can streamline the process. Separate teleconferences with each party, on consent, are also worth considering. This obviously would involve a more candid representation of the position of the party as it relates to the case. Many times, by engaging in the foregoing, the necessity of a joint session can be dramatically shortened, if not eliminated.

The Pre-Mediation Briefs

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