What should I tell my client before mediation?

Procedure: Although the mediator will explain the procedure (joint session, private sessions, etc.) during his or her opening, it is a good idea to explain the procedure to your clients if they have not already been through a mediation so that they are as comfortable as possible.

Merits: Whether your client is experienced in mediation or not, you should always discuss the merits of your case (the good and the bad) with them before you mediate. The mediator will be discussing your case’s weaknesses with you in private session to encourage you to reach a compromise settlement. You do not want your client to hear about the weaknesses of his or her case for the first time from the mediator!

Settlement Goals: Although you need to have settlement goals and discuss them with your client, be careful not to cast them in concrete or you will find yourself in the same position as the claims adjuster described above if you need to compromise just a little bit more to make a settlement work.