Published: October 2023
Written by: Mark Greenberg
As attorneys, your role in mediation is pivotal to achieving a favorable outcome for your client. To facilitate a successful settlement, it’s essential to provide comprehensive and accurate information to the mediator. This Mediation Summary Outline will guide you in providing the material to ensure a productive mediation, resulting in a more likely settlement for your client.
- Case Information:
- Case Name: Clearly identify the case being mediated.
- Trial Date: Specify the trial docket, and for state court if this is an actual trial order or estimated date from a case management order.
- Trial Venue: Indicate the location where the trial is set to take place.
- Judge: Mention the presiding judge overseeing the case.
- Jury or Non-Jury: State whether the trial is jury or bench.
- Type of Case:
- Describe the nature of the case, including legal issues and claims involved.
- Attorney’s Fees:
- Specify whether attorney’s fees are a significant concern in the case.
- Negotiation History:
- Most Recent Demand and Date: Share the most recent settlement demand and the date it was made.
- Most Recent Offer and Date: Provide the most recent settlement offer and the date it was extended.
- Case Summary:
- Present a concise overview of the case, including key facts, legal arguments, and the current status of litigation.
- Key Case Factors:
- Strengths: Highlight your client’s strongest arguments or evidence that favor their position.
- Weaknesses: Acknowledge any aspects of the case that might be challenging or unfavorable to your client.
- Opposing Side’s Strengths: Identify the opposing party’s most compelling arguments or evidence.
- Opposing Side’s Weaknesses: Note any vulnerabilities or weaknesses in the opposing party’s case.
- Client’s Settlement Objectives:
- Clearly state your client’s goals for settlement, including desired outcomes beyond monetary compensation.
- Verdict Range:
- What is your client’s best day in court?
- What is your client’s worst day in court?
- What are the realistic range of verdicts?
- Availability of Similar Case Verdicts: If applicable, share information on past verdicts for cases similar to yours.
- Discovery Status:
- Describe significant discovery completed and highlight any pending or outstanding discovery.
- Trial Cost Estimate:
- Provide an estimate of the potential cost to your client if the case proceeds to trial.
- Critical Motions and Rulings:
- Identify any critical motions, like Daubert challenges or motion for summary judgment, that may affect the case outcome. Note any rulings issued thus far.
- Important Settlement Terms:
- Detail any unique settlement terms that may be of interest to your client, such as confidentiality agreements, non-compete clauses, or non-disparagement provisions.
- Additional Concerns:
- Address any other issues or concerns that could impact the settlement process or case resolution.
- Communication with Mediator:
- Indicate whether you’d like to speak with the mediator before the mediation session.
- Supporting Documents:
- Gather and provide relevant documents, such as contracts, expert reports, photographs, repair estimates, HOA documents, and other evidence to help the mediator fully understand the case.
In conclusion, successful mediation hinges on effective communication and thorough preparation. By providing the mediator with a comprehensive Mediation Summary Outline, you lay the foundation for a productive negotiation process that can lead to a mutually acceptable settlement. Remember, your input as attorneys plays a vital role in shaping the mediation’s success and achieving a favorable outcome for your clients.
Mark Greenberg is the President of Breakthrough Mediation. He has tried over 100 cases to verdict, representing both Plaintiffs and Defendants in state and federal court. He now mediates cases throughout Florida, saving clients over $100 million dollars in legal expenses, while helping them find peace in the resolution of contentious disputes. www.btmediation.com
For additional ADR tips and resources, go to www.palmbeachbar.org/alternative-dispute-resolution-committee