I was attending a continuing legal education seminar the other day entitled, “Domestic Mediation: Who, What, Where, When, Why?,” presented by a local attorney master mediator whom I really respect. One of the topics covered was the question, “Why Mediations Fail?” Here are the points that were made:
- The parties are not yet ready to mediate and the mediation is held prematurely. (One way to overcome this failure is to set up a second session after the court hearing for temporary orders is held).
- An attorney sets unrealistic expectations for their client.
- The attorney wants more money in the litigation process.
- The emotion of a party is not validated.
- The attorney lacks experience in the field in which they are mediating. (This often happens in domestic law cases when a party’s lawyer “friend” is going to help the party out in their family law matter by representing them,even though the lawyer does not customarily practice family law.)
- The wrong mediator is chosen (different styles of mediator).
- The party is not properly prepared with information needed to have a settlement.
- The party opens negotiations with their bottom line and is not willing to move.
- The party is not willing to come to a settlement and is using the process just to meet the requirement to mediate.
- The walkaway option is better than the option being proposed in mediation.
Please comment, add, refute, clarify or inquire regarding this posting if you are so inclined. I would love for this to convert to a helpful dialogue and resource.