Key traits for a trial lawyer to be successful at Mediation

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1. Competence: Has the lawyer been successful in prior Mediations ? Is he or she experienced in the area of law in question, and able to show actual results ?

2. Informative; Has the attorney informed the client, in writing and orally about what to expect, the up side and down side of the Mediation, Litigation and Trial ? Has the lawyer prepared the client for the proceeding, as “the best surprise is no surprise.”

3. Truthful: Is the lawyer truthful to the client, witnesses, the Mediator and tribunal ? If the lawyer is untruthful to the Mediator, who may in fact be a retired judge, he or she will lose not only the ability to be successful at mediation in the present case, but their reputation will be sullied and future clients will be worse off for it.

4. Advocate: Is the lawyer a zealous advocate for his or her client ? When seen in court, are they able to make their clients’ arguments and present them in a favorable light to the court and/or jury ? Are past clients, co-counsel, doctors and other professionals satisfied and praising the advocate’s skills ?

5. Fairness: Especially in a Mediation, it is important to be fair. Is the attorney letting the other side express itself ? Is he or she letting the client, Mediator or other involved parties present their positions and look into alternative solutions ? If one side believes that they are not “getting a fair shake,” they will not agree to a Mediation settlement, and the opportunity for an amicable resolution will have been lost.

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