Preparing Your Client... For Mediation - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 53, No. 3
L. Randolph Lowry
The author is founder and director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and a law professor at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California. As a mediator, dispute resolution consultant, and trainer, he has spent the last 15 years assisting and preparing neutrals and advocates for the mediation process.
While clients are usually up to speed on the litigation process, not all fully understand mediation. Drawing from his personal experience as a mediator, the author offers practical advice to lawyers on how best to prepare their clients. He recommends staging mock mediations, using proactive teaching techniques, and being creative wherever possible to help clients grasp the unique and unpredictable nature of what he calls the “negotiation dance.”
The well-dressed corporate officials looked anxiously across the long mahogany table as the plaintiff’s counsel described his client’s age discrimination claim against their company. In the lawyer’s mind the facts were clear, the liability certain and the damages substantial. As the corporate officers listened intently to the lawyer’s presentation, they carefully considered the position they would take in response to the biting accusations.