Mediation Minute

The Mediator’s Wish List

December 12, 2021

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, you are probably seeking holiday gift-giving lists. Most mediators want the same thing. Here is a list of things most mediators would like to receive in case you are still shopping for the holidays.

Mediators would like attorneys to confer with one another in advance to discuss the scope of the mediation and necessary attendees. Everyone should sort out attendance issues in advance.

Mediators wish attorneys would send a thoughtful and polite premediation letter to the opposing side introducing the themes that will be part of the discussion during mediation. This is your chance to communicate directly with the other party. Confidential premediation submittals for the mediator’s eyes only are of limited value. The failure to send a premediation letter to the other side is a wasted opportunity.

Mediators wish they received a phone call or letter explaining the case and more importantly what the settlement is likely to involve, the cast of characters, applicable insurance coverage and any non-economic issues to be resolved. .

Mediators would like you to schedule mediation earlier in the life of the dispute and avoid sunk costs. Mediating early allows you to learn a lot about the other side’s position, and invariably reveals new information, even if you are not able to settle.

Mediators want everyone to understand that an impasse is not a failed mediation.


Mediators would like you to improve your lighting, audio, and video feed when attending mediation by Zoom. A flat camera angle helps you convey your message more emphatically. Weird camera angles and lighting suggests a lack of concern for process.

What can you give your client?

The best present you can give a client is peace and freedom from conflict by resolving the dispute quickly and cost-effectively. Settlements usually result in economic benefits or curtail risk, but the intangible benefits of resolution are not well-appreciated by all. Dispute resolution contributes greatly to the quality of life, reduces stress, improves the public’s perception of lawyers, and helps ease the burden on underfunded judicial systems attempting to provide justice with often severely limited resources.

Happy Holidays and Cheers!