In the vast majority of cases, the parties in construction claims and disputes settle before going to trial. Part of the reason this happens are the efforts of lawyers and mediators to come to an agreement that benefits both parties. Here are some tips for ensuring successful mediation:
One factor that affects the outcome of mediation is the lack of preparation. A lot of trouble goes on trial and hearing prep, but most lawyers and people tend to go into mediation unprepared. Most parties keep crucial information that can sway a mediator under wraps, saving it for use in the trial when they could avoid it altogether.
Prepare the mediator
Even the best mediator will struggle to bring the parties together if they are only given material on the day of the meeting. Prepare the mediator with all the relevant information and trust them to come up with the right approach to the mediation.
Keep it civil
Create as positive an atmosphere as possible and keep the proceedings civil. Often, the process starts with accusations and counter-accusations and insults. Things very quickly go downhill from there, with both parties getting more and more aggressive.
A lot of claims that go to mediation are complicated and require a lot of time to process properly. It is critical that any communication to both the mediator and the other party be as clear possible. The less ambiguous the statements, the faster everyone can move along.