Building business in mediation

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Originally published in the April 16, 2012 edition of THE RECORDER.

Most legal professionals think of mediation merely as a process to settle cases, but it also allows you to work collaboratively with your client and to showcase your skills for preparation, advocacy and negotiation. Managed properly, mediation can solidify your relationship with your client and help you to develop future business. Here are some suggestions that might help.

1. Negotiation is about communication

When each side is able to hear, understand and appreciate the other’s position, the more likely parties are to reach an agreement. In a properly conducted mediation, the mediator creates an environment conducive to effective communication. The mediator’s charge is to convey the respective parties’ points of view in a way that will ensure they are received and sincerely considered. If accomplished, a settlement will result 90 percent of the time, enhancing a lawyer’s standing with his or her client.

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