1. Make sure you discuss the mediation process with your client. Let them know it takes some time, there is a back and forth to it. Patience is a key.
2. Inquire of your client to see if there are things other than money that might be of value in a settlement. In that regard, mediation can lead to a better outcome than trial.
3. Think about who you want present at the mediation. Not just from your side but, if you know them, who from the opposing side should be there.
4. Schedule a call with your mediator to discuss who will be present. You can enlist the mediator to make sure the other side brings their decision-maker(s).
5. During that call you can also let the mediator know about any idiosyncrasies of the particular matter. Whether client-based or fact pattern. They could be as mundane as food preferences to more important matters like accessibility.
6. If you think a separate call with the mediator is necessary to discuss those idiosyncrasies don’t hesitate to ask for a separate call.
7. Think about how you want the mediation to proceed. Do you want the opportunity to make a presentation at a joint session? Are you comfortable moving directly into private caucuses.
8. If you are having a joint session, are there going to be any visual aids/evidence displayed? Do you need anything from the mediator to setup the presentation?
9. Do you want your client to speak at a joint session? If so, should it be rehearsed? Sometimes off the cuff is better but that is client-dependent.
10. Are there motions currently pending that might impact the mediation?