Preparing for the Hearing
The keys for preparing for an effective mediation is total authority to resolve the dispute and an open mind to the negotiation process. Parties should provide the other side with all pertinent statements of position, supportive documentation and other valuable evidence which they believe will be influential to the process.
Initially, depending upon the case, the neutral may meet with all of the attorneys and/or the parties. Irrespective of whether there is the initial joint session or not, the neutral will then meet with each side separately. These individual sessions are held with all parties and are very useful for narrowing the mediation issues.
Mediations occasionally last 6-10 hours. When a hearing takes longer than four hours or was planned to take more than four hours, experience tells us that the parties often need sustenance and in those situations the Redlands Arbitration and Mediation Service will provide lunch and/or dinner for the parties. If the process is successful, the parties will have an agreement between themselves. In most cases the neutral may assist the parties in drafting their own settlement agreement that they can take home with them.
Once again, full settlement authority and an open mind are the most important elements for preparing for a successful mediation.
The Mediator requests that the parties advise the Mediator's office as to the identity of all persons who will appear at the mediation session and their relationship to the parties no later than 10 days prior to the hearing.