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Mediator’s Tips for Successful Virtual Mediation

More than ever, attorneys must now utilize creative and efficient alternatives to traditional litigation when assisting clients with legal disputes. Virtual mediation seems to have become the “new normal,” so if you have one scheduled, here are some tips:

Virtual Mediation Tips

  • Learn the technology
    • Loading Zoom onto your phone or computer is easy
      • Give it a test run with your family and/or officemates
    • Make sure the client has loaded Zoom and has a stable source of WIFI
    • Ask mediator for a run-through
    • Make sure no one records the mediation
  • Backup plans
    • Have two phones available
    • Get everyone’s phone numbers
  • Do not schedule mediation unless you are ready to settle
    • If your client who is the defendant says, “there’s no way I’m going to pay any money,” don’t go to mediation
  • The parties and all decision-makers must be present
    • Joint sessions vs. private sessions
  • Memos should be done well in advance and should be shared with the other side with plenty of time for evaluation of your claim
    • Pictures
    • Medical reports (not every piece of paper generated by the hospital)
    • Relevant portions of deposition transcripts (not the tiny print ones)
  • Negotiations
    • Prepare your client for a long day and they will feel insulted at times
    • Don’t quit or lose your cool (this can be tedious at times)
    • Don’t make outrageous demands
    • Don’t make dinner plans or plane reservations
    • Bring other work
    • Do keep talking and no ultimatums

This article was written by the Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Co-Chair of its Litigation Practice Group. A printable version is available to download here.

If you have any questions about this article or any related matter, please feel free to contact him at egiordano@norris-law.com. For more topics related to COVID-19, visit our Coronavirus Thought Leadership Connection.

The information contained in this post may not reflect the most current developments, as the subject matter is extremely fluid and constantly changing. Please continue to monitor this site for ongoing developments. This article provides information about current legal developments of mediation in the area of litigation and alternative dispute resolution. The information contained in this article should not be construed as legal advice and readers should not act upon such without professional counsel. Copyright © 2020 Norris McLaughlin, P.A.

About Norris McLaughlin

As well as representing our clients during commercial and civil disputes, our attorneys often serve as independent arbitrators and mediators. They are experienced in handling disputes for matters involving attorney ethics and fees, banking, corporate dissolutions, deadlocks and acquisitions, energy, environmental, estates, health care, information technology, insurance, intellectual property, labor and employment, matrimonial, products liability, and utility issues. We also offer innovative services in case consultation and complex case management.