In many cases mediation is the most cost-efficient and effective method of resolving a case. Often, litigants can save a lot of money and time when mediation is held after first tier discovery has been completed, once the core facts are determined that circumscribe the dispute. In order to facilitate early resolution many California courts have implemented mediation programs and asked mediators to volunteer their time. Unfortunately, many mediators are becoming discouraged with these programs because many times the parties are not prepared.
Speaking to a number of Bay Area mediators who participate in the court ordered mediation panels, they have uniformly identified that the majority of the court ordered mediation cases are breach of contract and personal injury cases.
It was a consensus that, whether the information is obtained through investigation, informal exchange of information or formal discovery, parties need to know the absolute basics of their case so that they can intelligently mediate. Mediation is not the time to expect an opponent to “educate” you of the basic understanding of your case. This may seem to be obvious, but in hearing the stories from the mediators it was surprising on how unprepared many parties are. Continued below...
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