Although mediation in Florida lawsuits has been successful in various areas of law, as an attorney, it is important to know how to maximize the benefits that mediation provides. Some clients and cases lend themselves better to the mediation process than others. Understanding when mediation is most beneficial for your cases will strengthen your attorney-client relationships and boost the reputation of your practice.
When business disputes occur, it is important to act quickly. Typically, the more time that passes after a dispute, the angrier the parties become, and the more difficult it will be to reach a settlement in the case by any means. Although many cases do settle after many months or even years, if the parties have been fighting for a long period of time, they may not be able to reach middle ground, even in mediation. Therefore, you should encourage mediation as soon as it is realistically feasible in your case to increase the chances of finalizing the case.
Similarly, your clients must be willing to attend mediation and work toward settling the case. Since settlement is the goal of mediation, your attempts at settlement will be fruitless if one party will not actively participate. Since your client will have to pay mediation fees and your attorney fees, this will only result in frustration with your services.
In some instances, it is impossible to mediate all of the issues in a case in one day of mediation. This is especially true for complex business litigation. Therefore, it may be to your advantage to use several mediation sessions to break up the case and settle it piece by piece. If you and opposing counsel determine that additional discovery is necessary, it can be completed between mediation sessions. You can coordinate the mediation sessions with a discovery schedule easily.