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Q-What does a lawyer need to bring to a Settlement Mediation?

I am amazed at the comments many of the mediators make to me during the course of a mediation. A number of mediators have said “You are one of the few attorneys who gives me information in advance of the settlement mediation date about the case.”

That is a bit strange to me. I always send to the mediator a copy of our settlement demand and the most important medical information from which we use to value the case and support our reasoning. Yet, this is not done by the vast majority of attorneys who take their clients into a settlement mediation.

This is flat wrong. The mediator NEEDS this information so that he/she can understand one's case. It seems so simple to gather this information prior to the settlement day, organize it and e-mail it to the mediator who has agreed to mediate the case. I want the mediator to grasp the issues in your case and to know the strengths of your case. That is best done with advance information.

You see, lack of advance preparation will be considered by the other side as a sign of weakness or lack of knowledge of your case on the part of your attorney.

There is nothing more harmful than to be perceived by the other side as ill-prepared. If your lawyer has NOT met with you, NOT counselled with you as to the strategy and value of your case, your case will NOT settle for the optimal number.

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