Self-determination of the parties is a bedrock principle of mediation. Lawyers play an essential role, but it is ultimately the clients who decide whether to settle and on what terms. Yet some lawyers, fearing a loss of control, go out of their way to shield their clients from the mediator. But the mediator is not there to cause the clients to question their lawyers’ judgment. Rather, it is to assist the lawyers in leading their clients to recognize when settlement is the best available option. So please don’t deny the mediator access to your client.