Keys to Successful Mediation

  • The parties MUST submit briefs (limited to 5 pages and 10 pages of exhibits) to the mediator at least 2 days prior to the mediation via e-service.
     
  • ALL PARTIES MUST HAVE DECISION-MAKERS PREPARED AND AVAILABLE DURING THE SESSION.
     
  • BOTH SIDES ARE ENCOURAGED TO SHARE BRIEFS WITH EACH OTHER, including any key medical records or case information. Sending your materials to the other side well in advance will help both sides prepare. Remember, a prepared Adjuster is key to having sufficient authority.  We encourage using the following short format for your brief:
     
    • CASE TYPE: Car Crash, Employment etc
       
    • Case overview:  2-3 sentences describing case facts
       
    • Plaintiff(s):  Describe Plaintiff’s background
       
    • Defendant(s):  Describe Defendant’s background including all available insurance coverage if applicable.
       
    • Liability overview:  One or two paragraphs describing key issues.
       
    • Damage overview:  Key damage issues—use bullet points if possible, to outline injuries or harms.
       
    • Identify Key past and future treatment with bullet points.
       
    • Economic damages: List economic damages. Be straight about Howell issues. List all past and future economic damages.
       
    • General Damage overview: Describe the impact on the Plaintiff. Identify what makes your case different or key areas of impact. Identify permanent residuals.
       
    • Key Defense issues: Address comparative fault and pre-existing or causation issues.
       
    • Demand and Status of Pre-mediation negotiations
       
  • Plaintiff should make a pre-mediation settlement demand.
     
  • Plaintiff should have liens and case costs identified. Pre-negotiate with any lienholders if possible. The net result to your client matters. Be prepared to Settle! 
     
  • At the discretion of the mediator, pre-mediation ex parte communications may be permitted to identify key issues.
     
  • This will be a very fast paced negotiation, please prepare your clients that the Mediator will likely move quickly. Have your client prepared for likely outcomes that include risk of loss, comparative fault, costs of litigation and future delays.
     
  • Each side must realistically evaluate their case strengths and weaknesses.
     
  • Help us help you. Be prepared and help the other side understand your case and your clients as much as possible before the mediation begins. “Take it or leave it” positions will not be productive for this type of mediation.  Stay positive and work together towards the common goal of getting a fair result for everyone.
     
  • If applicable, counsel should consider whether a structure settlement will be required or beneficial to the client and contact one of San Diego's local structure settlement companies to discuss quotes for annuities before mediation. This will help your client make decisions quickly and will help you utilize your 2 hour time frame effectively.