Mediation Mistakes- Failing to narrow the issues
When lawsuits are filed, Plaintiffs often plead a variety of causes of action (throwing in the “kitchen sink”) and Defendants who are being sued often respond in kind. At some point in the case, the parties will be referred to mediation or will agree to do it on their own. In my experience, the first few hours of mediation are frequently spent attempting to narrow the issues between the parties when the parties are really only concerned about a few of the issues which have been raised in the lawsuit. A great deal of time and money can be saved if the attorneys for the parties speak to each other, in advance of the mediation, and attempt to narrow the issues to the ones that really matter to their clients. Such a telephone call may or may not be successful but, if they are, will potentially save hours of time (and money) at mediation.
Rod B. Neuman is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court Mediator Certified Mediator (also admitted in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida) and offers these observations based upon his experiences mediating cases throughout the State of Florida.