Mediation: How To's of Negotiation
Before you get to mediation, set goals. Have alternative positions ready to roll. Be open to new ideas.
Be a PLANNERMediation is not a forum for shooting from the hip. Assess your case. Look at your long term goals, as well as the goals of your opponent. Consider the crucial facts on each side of the case. Anticipate the outcome were the case to be tried in court or to a jury. Think of possible means of reaching agreements and bridging impasses.
Knowledge is PowerGlean enough information to make educated choices. That may be each party filing a Verified Inventory and Appraisement, and supplying back up in the form of current account statements. That may mean a formal appraisal of a business interest. That may mean formal discovery, including depositions, depositions by written questions, interrogatories, Rule 194 Requests for Disclosure and Requests for Production and Inspection of Documents. Can you negotiate reasonably? Can your opponent be reasonable? Can you reduce your Inventory to a one or two page spreadsheet, including fair market values, and a section that sets out separate property interests if any?
Finesse - Catching Flies with Honey, Not VinegarYou may hate your spouse. You may despise his or her lawyer. Mediation is a fine balance between cooperation, collaboration, outside the box thinking, and sometimes forcing concessions by bringing bad facts to light. In most instances, the risks and costs of trial outweigh the benefits -- less than 3% of cases go all the way to trial. Most are settled through mediation.