Friday, January 23

Mediation Advocacy

Want something to go out to client lawyers with in the hope of getting some of their mediation work in 2009?

Try this easy to read 8 page think-piece from In Place of Strife mediator Charles Middleton-Smith: The Art of Advocacy in Mediation: exploring the role of legal advisers in mediation.

My advice? Don't just send them a link by email.

Instead, print it out, slap on a post-it note with something like;

Some of the money quotes include;

'Take advantage of your distance from the centre of the emotional conflict. Be mindful of the lawyer who mistakenly believes that his client is paying him to wear the client's feelings about the dispute on his shoulders'

'If by your own behaviour you permit a party to become entrenched, you will signal to the mediator that you are going to be of no assistance and effectively become one more problem to be managed'

'The old argument about ADR standing for "Appalling Drop in Revenue" simply will not work any more. In this connection, the energy which is required for a constructive mediation is unexpectedly high to people who have not been involved in it before and comes as something of a surprise. From the mediator's perspective it is a constant round of management of adrenaline throughout a lengthy period and almost without a break. For the respective teams it is sometimes a different but no less exhausting challenge'

'You have to be prepared to be focused during the early parts of the day, you have to manage your own and your client's hopes and expectations and be aware of them as they develop. There are problems about patience, about frustration, about wondering whether you are in fact hour by hour doing what you need to do to earn fees for being there. Keeping the mind directed towards positive momentum is most important'

Or, if you want something with a bit more meat, try this superb 26 page report from UK law firm Hammonds on Effective Mediation Advocacy.

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