Mediation Tip- Managing Client Expectations:
When I serve in my role as mediator, I typically have private sessions with the clients and their attorneys before the general session. When I discuss compromise and the reasons why it makes sense, I sometimes see quizzical or even angry looks on the faces of the parties. This tells me that the client has not been prepared for the possibility of an outcome which is nothing short of a home run. I have no problem with an attorney putting on a game face and having a great deal of confidence in his or her case. However, if you truly believe the case should settle, it makes a great deal of sense for the attorney to prepare the client to accept something less than everything, plus attorney’s fees, costs, interest, etc. Such preparation may also cut down on the time it takes to mediate the case which is also a benefit to the client.
Rod B. Neuman, Esquire is a Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court Mediator and offers these observations based upon his experience in mediating cases over the last 9 plus years.