Mediation/ADR:  Understanding the Art of Negotiation and Settlement

Mediation/ADR: Understanding the Art of Negotiation and Settlement


Most civil litigators try only a handful of cases. More than 90% of civil lawsuits are resolved through negotiated settlement. Law students are familiar with trial skills, evidence, torts, contract law or transactions, but rarely do they have any knowledge about how to successfully negotiate a settlement.

This course will provide the methods and tools for preparing for mediation, conducting a mediation, and winning at mediation.  At the conclusion of the course, you will understand the steps required to prepare for a mediation conference, tactical moves and strategies to employ at mediation and much more.

Over the course of four lessons, experts in the field will provide the necessary tools and knowledge for you to:

1.    Prepare for mediation

2.    Identify the right mediator

3.    Make the right tactical moves prior to mediation

4.    Utilize winning negotiation strategies

Complete the course and you will be ready for mediation on your own!


Lessons


To mediate or not to mediate?  That is the question.

This lesson will help you find the answer to when mediation is advantageous to case resolution and when it is not. Understand how to set the stage for a successful mediation, including take away tips for selecting mediators and forums. In addition, examine tactical moves to make prior to mediation and learn what motivates the parties and why that matters.

Many “failed” mediations trace their roots to a lack of preparation; a failure to realistically evaluate both the dispute at issue and the bargaining positions of all parties, and communication between counsel and clients – before the day of the mediation.  This lesson will provide both counsel and clients a roadmap for setting yourself up for success on the day of mediation.

In this lesson you will learn how to build trust with an opponent you don’t trust and who doesn’t trust you when you have everything and nothing on your side.  You will learn why a basic level of trust is needed to resolve a case, about mental approaches and words that enhance or detract from trust, about strategies to build trust, and about how a mediator can help build that trust.  You will understand the ethical limits for negotiations by lawyers and why staying within those limits helps build credibility and negotiating power.

Parties often reach an impasse during negotiations, not due to conflict, but rather due to resistance in workable solutions or simply the exhaustion of creativity.  While it may appear the dispute is unresolvable, a workable agreement is always possible.  This lesson will help lawyers with techniques to get negotiations moving.  Learn how the personal qualities of a mediator can impact negotiations, how to define impasse, types of impasse and the signals of impasse, and when to utilize suspension instead of termination of the mediation.