1. Prepare your case.
o Identify what you hope to achieve at mediation. o Monetary Damage Claims o Prepare a Detailed Summary of Damages o Include Estimates, Invoices, Receipts and Cancelled o Checks o Other Claims o Bring Photographs and Reports o Be prepared to present your case in the presence of opposing parties o Tell them how this dispute has affected your life
2. Evaluate available alternatives if mediation is unsuccessful.
o Arbitration or Litigation? o What will it cost? o How long will it take? o What is the risk of an unsuccessful outcome? o What is your exposure to pay the other parties cost and attorney's fees?
3. Exchange information with other parties BEFORE mediation.
o Educate your opponent and your opponent's attorney. o Provide them with your list of claims and supporting information o Summary of Damages o Evidence of your expenses o Photographs o Citation to legal authority which supports your position o Provide a summary of the expected testimony of other witnesses and experts
4. Identify what your opponent hopes to achieve at mediation.
o Acknowledge your opponents valid positions Do you owe your opponent anything? o Non-monetary consideration Low cost to you/High value to your opponent?
5. You and your opponent are the decision makers - mediators facilitate the negotiation.
Remember, the mediator is a neutral 3rd party. Their goal is to find a satisfactory agreement between both parties.
6. Are there other decision makers that need to be present at mediation?
Make sure everyone who needs to be at the session is available (i.e.: Spouses, brokers, managers, insurance adjusters).
7. Are there other parties that need to be participants?
Sometimes it will be necessary to have an industry specialist involved in the mediation (i.e.: Agents, home inspectors, contractors, etc.).