One of the fundamental components of a mediation is, of course, the mediator. Continuing the Manufacturing Industry Advisor’s series on mediation, we discuss how to select the right mediator for resolution of your dispute. Selecting the right mediator may well mean the difference between a great settlement or facing continued, expensive litigation.
Once mediation is on the horizon, a mediator must be selected so the parties, their counsel, and the mediator can identify a mutually acceptable date, time, and place. Unless the court orders the parties to use a specific mediator, which happens occasionally, the parties and their counsel negotiate and select a mediator. Several factors influence which mediator is the right fit for a particular dispute.
|1 Day Mediation in a Mid-Market|
|Mediator A||Mediator B|
|Each Side’s Share||$1,300||$2,300|
While the hourly rates may seem materially different, the difference in total cost probably is immaterial. And the cost is usually worth it: First, if the parties reach an agreement, the dispute is behind them, and future costs are avoided. Second, even if the parties do not settle, an experienced mediator may be able to correct erroneous views held by your opponent or its attorney, which can help focus the actual issues that remain to be litigated. Simply put, marginal cost ($1,000) in these mediators likely pales in comparison to marginal benefit ($10Ks or $100Ks in exposure or attorneys’ fees) that are saved when a resolution is reached.
Discuss with your lawyer the following questions regarding each mediator:
Working with your counsel to select the best mediator possible is well worth the time and expense. In the end, it could save you a significant amount of money and stress. Stay tuned for our next post explaining how you should help your attorney prepare for mediation, once the date has been set and the mediator has been selected.