After have deciding to mediate and selecting a mediator, each litigants’ focus should shift to preparation. In our experience, mediation results improve significantly when the parties, not just the attorneys, come prepared for mediation. This post offers 7 pointers for parties to follow when preparing for mediation with their lawyers.
For example, if a manufacturer is in a dispute with the designer of its Customer Relationship Management (“CRM”) system, the manufacturer may be willing to continue using the CRM if the software vendor will agree to provide technical support for a period of time. That concept may be a crucial component of a mutually agreeable settlement, but the manufacturer should consider the necessary details – how many months or years would the technical support be needed, how many hours per week or month must the designer be willing to commit to, who at the vendor will provide the technical support, and will the technical support include adding features or providing updates?
Considering the details before mediation will highlight potential problems and increase the likelihood of reaching a concrete mediation settlement.
The key takeaway is that the parties should work closely with their lawyers in preparing for mediation. The foregoing are not step-by-step directions, but rather an outline to use in formulating the appropriate mediation strategy and goals. Stay tuned for our next post, discussing tips for the day of mediation.