For information about Dana Curtis’ availability and to schedule a mediation, contact her office at email@example.com or call 415.331.5158. After a mediation is scheduled, Ms. Curtis will send counsel a letter confirming the mediation, scheduling a pre-mediation telephone conference and requesting a Deposit of Estimated Fees required to reserve the mediation date. She will also send a Mediation Agreement, to be signed by counsel and the parties.
Ms. Curtis routinely consults with counsel jointly and/or separately before each mediation to address logistics and to other matters to insure the best determine the approach best suited for the the dispute. about the case that will allow her to tailor the mediation to the needs of the parties and enhance the possibility of resolution. These conversations also enable counsel to better prepare for the mediation and to prepare their clients more effectively. Typical pre-mediation discussions include:
1. The nature and background of the dispute;
2. Counsels’ perspectives on the parties’ preparedness to mediate at this time;
3. The date, time, location and anticipated length of the mediation session(s);
4. The parties who will be present at the mediation session(s), including insurance carrier representatives and others whose presence will allow for a productive session;
5. The information your clients require to be prepared to negotiate effectively at the mediation;
6. Written mediation statements and their exchange;
7. Ideas to improve the effectiveness of the mediation or matters that could pose impediments;
8. The procedures to be followed at the mediation;
9. Confidentiality and required attorney-client disclosure; and
10. Fees and deposit of fees.
Counsel typically submit and exchange mediation statements one week before the mediation session. Mediation statements commonly include discussions of the following topics:
1. A brief summary of the factual background;
2. A brief summary of the procedural background;
3. A brief summary of the legal issues and arguments;
4. For plaintiff, an explanation of damages;
5. A statement of your clients’ interests regarding settlement;
6. A statement of what you believe to be the interest of the other parties; and
7. A discussion of obstacles to settlement you anticipate and proposals for overcoming them.
Mediation sessions proceed according to a plan counsel and the mediator develop in the pre-mediation call. Typically, the mediation begins with a joint session, sometimes simply for the purpose introducing the participants and discussion procedures for the session. In other cases, participants remain together to discuss their perspectives on the dispute and exchange information they believe will contribute to resolution. When business or personal relationships are integral to the dispute, joint sessions provide a forum for parties to address the dispute in ways that allow closure or in some cases reconciliation.
At some point, parties and their lawyers meet confidentially with the mediator for a number of reasons, including the following:
1. To share sensitive information they did not wish to disclose to the other participants;
2. To seek assistance in communicating information to the other side that they did not communicate in the joint session;
3. To help parties develop and analyze proposals and create a negotiation plan;;
4. To explore creative ideas for resolving the dispute;
5. To encourage participants to reflect on and re-examine their perspectives on the dispute; and;
6. To conduct a methodical case analysis that incorporates perspectives of both parties' and, in some cases, the mediator.
Most disputes that do not resolve in the mediation session do so shortly thereafter. If a mediation session does not conclude with an agreement, participants will explore the obstacles to settlement and identify future opportunities to resume discussions, in another mediation session or in telephone follow-up conferences. .
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