Making The Case For Private Mediation Sessions

 Tuesday, May 14, 2019

 CLM Magazine

Joint mediation sessions are increasingly rare. Possible reasons for this trend include the parties’ impatience, fear of conflict that cements a tone, polarizing presentations, and the idea that listening could signal weakness.

Anyone interested in maintaining mediation as an effective alternative means of dispute resolution outside of the courtroom should consider its ultimate objectives.

If mediation is reduced simply to an expedited process of trading numbers through a neutral, what is the purpose of spending the time or the resources for an expert neutral who is trained at facilitating resolution?

Number-trading, without more, can be performed through direct negotiations. However, direct resolutions are less successful, the results may not be optimal, special terms may not be communicated with consistent understanding by all parties, and those communications may require extensive costs and time (letters, calls, return calls, tangential discovery) to convey information that can efficiently be communicated via mediation.
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