This is the sixth article in this series on mediation advocacy. The fifth article, published May 18, discussed how to prepare for the preliminary planning meeting with the mediator and opposing counsel. The article continued a scenario in which the parties, Widgetronics and DesignMetrics, entered into a contract containing a dispute resolution clause and became embroiled in a dispute over Widgetronics’ alleged wrongful termination of the contract. The parties have now completed the first few steps in the mediation process: selecting the mediator and participating in the preliminary planning meeting. The next step is to prepare for that upcoming session. This article provides a number of pointers for effective preparation.

One of the biggest mistakes that counsel make is failing to prepare properly for the mediation. Although mediation is informal and nonbinding (unless an agreement is reached), it is highly effective in resolving disputes — typically resolving disputes between 65 and 80 percent of the time. Counsel should prepare for mediation as they would prepare for any other case-dispositive event — carefully and thoroughly.

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