November 01, 2018 Articles

The Path to a Successful Mediation

While litigants may have had a contentious relationship prior to mediation, they need to prepare for mediation with a view toward ending the litigation by agreement.

By Sally Shushan

I believe that one of the surest paths to a successful mediation is to have a prepared mediator—one who knows the facts and the issues well in advance of the mediation session. I usually ask for written submissions 10 to 14 days prior to the mediation session. I don’t do that to torture the attorneys, but rather to be prepared. I read the submissions as they come in and make note of any questions that I have. I then have time to call counsel and discuss issues prior to the mediation. It might be something the attorney has not thought of or something I don’t understand. Either way, we gain clarity and don’t spend time at the mediation covering those things.

I include my mediation memo below, covering submissions and client authority as well as the mediation checklist that I ask the parties to comply with for the mediation session.

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