Seven (Sometimes Surprising) Facts About Mediation


If you have ever been part of a lawsuit, you are probably aware that somewhere in the range of 95% of employment-related lawsuits are settled, dismissed, or otherwise resolved before trial. While some cases are resolved through direct negotiation between the lawyers, or through motions filed with the court, a significant number are resolved through mediation.

Mediation is, essentially, a formalized negotiation process with the assistance of an experienced lawyer, retired judge, or (in court-ordered mediations) a magistrate judge. The parties to a dispute hire the mediator (or, sometimes, are provided with a mediator by the court), and then the attorneys and one or more client representatives from each side meet with the mediator to try to work toward a resolution of the dispute. Many courts require parties to attempt to resolve their disputes through mediation before proceeding to trial.

Clients who have never participated in a mediation are sometimes surprised by the process – and occasionally worried about mediation before they understand what it will involve. Here are seven facts that are most frequently surprising to clients when we start preparing for mediation...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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