Demeanor at Mediation

Don't be afraid to make conciliatory statements during your opening in joint caucus. Make it clear that you are not at mediation to fight, but to try and work together to achieve closure for both sides. Focus on areas of agreement whenever possible, and look for opportunities to bring humor to the table in appropriate circumstances. It might even be necessary to stroke egos, but be careful that you are sincere whenever doing so, as insincerity can surely destroy a party's desire to engage in cooperative discussions.

There are many small things that can be done so as to have maximum impact. If you are hosting a mediation, be a good host. This may mean nothing more than ensuring everyone's comfort, but often means buying lunch for the opposing side and paying for their parking in your parking garage. If you are not hosting, bring snacks or cookies for everyone. You would be surprised how much people appreciate this type of gesture. If you have the opportunity during the day, engage the other side in small talk unrelated to the case, but never speak to an opposing party without counsel present. Show a real interest in others. Be nice. Be optimistic. Be friendly. Mediation is no place for power plays and tempers. Whatever else you do, never brag about your successes as a trial attorney to the other side. It won't impress anyone except perhaps your client, and it is likely to make you look foolish.