Before you go to mediation, get a good night’s sleep, and eat breakfast
Making the best decision possible for your case requires a focused mind, which is difficult if you are tired or hungry. Try not to start the day behind the curve.
You will not be in the same room with the other side
Separate rooms are established for the opposing parties, so you are not sitting in the same room staring at your defendant all day. Occasionally, the mediator will bring everyone back together if a joint discussion is warranted, but generally, each side is in their own conference room.
The mediator will go back and forth between the plaintiff and the defendant
Once the parties move into separate rooms, the mediator goes back and forth between the two sides. If you have a quality mediator, they will have a good understanding, probe each side for the strengths and weaknesses, and try to help you make good decisions throughout the process.
The mediator is not a judge
The mediator does not and cannot make a ruling on the case. He/she is a neutral party that tries to help everyone work together to resolve the case without having to go to trial, which may ultimately save time and money.
Everything said to the mediator is confidential
Most everyone knows they can talk to their lawyer confidentiality, but mediators must also maintain confidentiality. Sometimes you will want the mediator to tell the other side what was said, but that is completely up to you.
You never have to take the deal offered by the other side in mediation
If you don’t like the deal being offered, you and your attorney can come up with a counteroffer for the mediator to take back to the other side. Or you can simply walk away from the table. It’s your choice.
Keeping an open mind will be the best way to settle your case
If you come into mediation with the mindset that you absolutely will not settle, then you probably won’t. Remember to be open during the process.
It is not a quick process
Patience is a virtue. You will be surprised how much time you will spend sitting in the room with just your attorney. Once your side makes a demand, the mediator must go and present it to the other side. Do not feel pressured to take the first offer of resolution, this is a waiting game!