Dougherty Tobias Iszard, Northern Virginia Law, P.C.

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How to make mediation work for you

In our last few posts, we have discussed mediation and what issues may be appropriate for the process. With our latest post, we will highlight what you should expect and how best to conduct yourself during an actual mediation. We hope that these tips can help in making the process smooth for you.

Have an open mind – Remember, mediation is quite different from a court hearing in that the goal is not to prove who is right and who is wrong. Rather, the goal is to reach an agreement that both parties can live with. This means that a mindset of compromise is necessary for mediation to work. So if you go in with your guard up, the process may not work as expected.

Understand your attorney’s role – You probably hired your lawyer for his or her tenacity in getting what you want. But in mediation, it is not expected that he or she be a bulldog or an intimidator. He or she will advise you of the pros and cons of a particular choice, but your lawyer will not likely be an advocate in this setting. This is because the choices are yours to make, because the goal is compromise.

Consider the costs of litigation going forward – Going into mediation, you probably already know that litigation is expensive, and that protracted legal battles are not likely to be friendly to your bank account. With that in mind, it is helpful to consider what you absolutely need and be willing to compromise on other issues. 

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