Aug. 20, 2014 – In this video, Madison attorney Marie Stanton talks about good practices to bring cases to successful mediation and offers three tips on how to get there.
Select an Appropriate Mediator
Successful mediation begins with selecting the right mediator. “Every case is different,” said Stanton. “Some cases depend on relationship building, others depend on numbers, and others depend on certain areas of expertise. Lawyers should take some time in naming the mediator. Do your research and find the right mediator.”
Get Your Client Involved
Stanton advises lawyers to educate the client. “It is important to include your client in the preparation,” she said. “Be sure your client knows what to expect and understands the process.”
Know Your Numbers
“Remember, most people want to reach an agreement and settle their case,” said Stanton. “Ninety-eight percent of the civil cases, excluding medical malpractice, are settled without going to trial. Lawyers should involve their client to advocate toward settlement.”
One way to involve the client is to be sure they are aware of the numbers. “If there is going to be an exchange of numbers, discuss what their case is worth before they hear it from the mediator or the other side,” said Stanton. “In personal injury cases, early numbers can be unreasonably high or unreasonably low, and frankly, this can delay settlement.”
About the Author
Stanton is a shareholder at Hurley, Burish & Stanton S.C. in Madison. Having practiced as both plaintiff and defense counsel, she mediates or arbitrates more than 90 cases annually. Stanton was a panel member at “How to Get It Settled: Improving Your Chances at Mediation,” during the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® Litigation, Dispute Resolution, and Appellate Practice Institute in Milwaukee last May.