Find Mediators Near You:

Preparing for a Successful Outcome

Mediation hearings are not really the best place for surprises. Recently, I was mediating what appeared to be a garden variety single plaintiff wage and hour case. The Defense lawyers, representing a small business, had carefully analyzed the damage exposure to their client and given him advice on the parameters of the value of the case. The parties had exchanged briefs and communicated their opening offers before the hearing. The Defense arrived committed to resolving the case, at an uncomfortably high, but affordable value if necessary.

Unfortunately, as I got to know the Plaintiff, she revealed an incident of violence in the workplace which, if true, had the potential of completely changing the value of the case. The defendants were caught unawares and the negotiation was severely hampered, and ultimately unsuccessful given that this allegation had not been verified or even made a part of the pleadings by the time of the mediation hearing. There had been no discovery–formal or informal and the Defendants had no way of evaluating the veracity of a claim that was made for the first time during the first hour of a 1/2 day mediation hearing.

In this instance, the Plaintiff’s attorney was also unaware of the new issue, so he could not have raised it sooner. Still, in negotiation, being prepared and preparing your client and your adversary, will always have a better chance of success than surprising the lawyers and parties with new facts and allegations at the time of the hearing.

That’s my View from the Middle of the Road!

                        author

Jan Frankel Schau

Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the… MORE >

Featured Members

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

What Did Labor Day Teach Us About ADR?

Just Court ADR by Susan M. Yates,Jennifer Shack, Heather Scheiwe Kulp, and Jessica Glowinski.For a while in the evolution of the ADR field, when two neutrals met they would sometimes...

By Susan Yates
Category

Conflict: Is it all in your head?

From Stephanie West Allen's blog on Neuroscience and conflict resolution . Since neuroscience is one eye through which we look on this blog, and the brain is in the head,...

By Stephanie West Allen
Category

Custody Mediation with a Narcissist Spouse

A narcissist is so caught up in themselves that they fail to think about others. They lack empathy and do whatever it takes to get what they want. For these...

By Zarira Love
×