Florida mediation has proved successful in a vast array of cases, ranging from emotional custody battles to complicated environmental disputes. A successful mediation requires the efforts of the parties, their attorneys, and the mediator. To increase the likelihood of success in a Florida mediation session, there are several steps you may take.
Typically, you speak for your client. In the courtroom, your clients usually do not have much opportunity to share their stories with the judge and jury, aside from the questions you ask while they are on the witness stand. In mediation, however, your clients have the chance to tell the mediator anything and everything they want. Keep this in mind, and, although you are available to offer legal advice, allow your client to speak freely and vent his or her frustration to the mediator.
Make sure that your clients understand the mediation process. Encourage your clients to focus on their need for a settlement and to formulate reasonable and realistic goals to be achieved at mediation. Compare notes with your clients to make sure that all necessary documentation and facts are organized for the mediation session.
Although mediation can be relatively calm, it is not unusual for emotions to surface. If your client becomes emotional you should first let your client vent and get it out of his or her system, and then step in to tell your client that what he or she wants is not practical and unlikely to be ordered by a judge or awarded by a jury.
Time your settlement proposals and responses to the opposing side’s offers wisely. Have a negotiating plan that includes not only your client’s bottom line concessions, but also how and when you will dole out those concessions to the other side in each round of mediation bargaining. Every mediation session is different, so carefully gauge what the mediator says and use this information to discuss settlements and to modify your negotiating plan when necessary.