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Managing Client Expectations in Advance of Mediation Day

Managing Clients Mediation Expectations

The Importance of Managing Clients Mediation Expectations

The importance of managing client expectations before mediation cannot be understated. In the claimant’s mind, the defendant should pay everything (principal, interest, fees, and costs) while the defendant believes it should pay far less. Convincing either on the day of mediation to fundamentally change that perspective is nearly impossible. Going into the mediation, a party should have realistic expectations of what the other side is likely to offer or accept. Educating clients before mediation is key. That may not necessarily guarantee a successful outcome. However, it will increase the chances of one, and minimize or avoid disappointment in the outcome.

While not every case will warrant it, depending on the size or complexity of a case, parties should consider sharing information/presentations in advance of mediation using web-based technologies.  Where this occurs, be sure to confirm beforehand in writing with all recipients of the information that it is being provided confidentially with all attendant mediation and/or other privileges maintained. This will facilitate getting the decision makers “together” with minimal expense and allow parties to “make their case” in advance of mediation, leaving the day of mediation to fine tune positions and engage in meaningful negotiations. Pre-mediation presentations also allow for the exchange of further information prior to the formal mediation session(s), avoiding wasted time during mediation “scrambling” to locate and provide the other side with some essential piece of information or documentation needed to better evaluate a claim or a party’s exposure.

To learn more about the importance of managing clients mediation expectations, contact Florida construction mediator and lawyer Gary L. Brown at (954) 370-9970 or (954) 448-1133.