We are all familiar with formal mediation procedure: a joint opening session followed by caucus bargaining from separate rooms with the mediator as go-between. But in some cases there is no meaningful dispute as to the material facts or applicable law; only as to the amount to be paid to settle the case. In those cases, where direct negotiations between counsel prove unsuccessful, a mediator can simply negotiate with counsel by phone or video conference without actually convening a mediation conference. This informal procedure is typically slower but less costly than a formal mediation conference and can be equally effective. So don’t overlook an opportunity to use informal mediation procedure.