Insurance expert witness Guy Kornblum is author of Do Lawyers Really Understand What They Need to Do to Prepare For Mediation?
Recently I was invited by our local legal publication to be one of five persons on a Mediation Roundtable to discuss mediation techniques. We were interviewed by a moderator on various topics about mediation. I was the only lawyer in private practice on the panel. The others were all mediators, three were lawyers who are now doing full time mediation and the other was a retired trial court judge who for the last seven years has been mediating privately with a local service.
What I heard shocked me: Lawyers don’t know how to prepare for a mediation, and most of the lawyers who attend mediations just are not doing a very good job. The mediators all explained the hurdles they had to overcome. Their chief complaints could be listed as follows:
1) There is no strategy or plan by the lawyers for their clients;
2) The briefs submitted are “too brief,” and cursory;
3) The lawyers have not prepared the client for the process; the clients have little understanding of how a mediation works and what can be accomplished;
4) The parties are hostile to each other, or the lawyers are, which detracts substantially from the need to candidly communicate;
5) The clients are not prepared to discuss “the numbers”; the client has no idea what the value of the case is;
More to come from The Resolution Advocate