Mediation: It’s OK, Go Ahead–Shoot the Messenger
The primary components of EVERY Mediation are the exchange information, presentation of theories of each party’s case and the transmission of offers of settlement. Very often, an offer of settlement or advancement of the other party’s theory of the case may solicit a response from the other party that goes something like “That no good, dirty, low down (insert your favorite derogatory term here).”
More often than not, the venom is directed at the messenger—the mediator–and that’s OK.
Sometimes, the clients and/or their attorneys just need to vent and blow off some steam during a Mediation. There is a certain cleansing and peace of mind which results and often helps to produce a successful resolution of the case.
Once that process is complete, a good mediator will help calm the parties and attorneys down, get them focused back on the business of rational thinking and getting the case settled.
Rod Neuman is a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator and is certified in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and offers these reflections based upon his experience in conducting mediations.