Private meetings with the mediator

Sometimes called "caucus" these meetings are the heart of the mediation process.

It is during these sessions that you and your client will have the opportunity to speak frankly with the mediator, to express concerns, wishes, and to receive information, offers, and challenges to your perceptions.

Remember that the information shared in these meetings is entirely confidential: it will not be shared with the other party without express permission.

Prepare your client well.Preparation is key

 

  • Tell the Mediator if you or your client have changed your initial position as a result of hearing the other parties' opening statements.
    • Had you overlooked anything?
    • Was there something expressed that you did not expect or could not have anticipated?
    • Allow your client the opportunity to speak about this. 
  • Go through the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and be prepared to discuss them.
  • Give an objective appraisal of the other parties' cases.
  • Be prepared to provide the amount of your client's costs to date, and likely costs to trial.
  • Give an honest appraisal of the likely outcome if the case were to go to trial - remember that the other parties' lawyers will be doing just the same.
  • Do not express a 'bottom line' early on.
    • It is highly unlikely that that is your bottom line, as the Mediator and everyone else well knows.
    • It is better to discuss principles and issues before putting absolute figures on anything.
    • Unless your position has changed following the opening statements discuss with the Mediator when a first offer might be made, and what its elements might be.
  • After each private meeting:
    • does your client understand what is going on?
    • Is your client content?