Article Image
Characteristics of a Powerful Mediation Statement

Friday, July, 15, 2011

A mediation statement can be a powerful tool used during an alternative dispute resolution conference, but all too often; such statements appear to be identical to opening statements that could be used in an arbitration proceeding instead.  Arbitration, however, is a different process from mediation, and a powerful statement will clearly reflect that fact. 


Writing a Mediation Statement that Speaks to the Correct Audience


One of the most common mistakes present in the average mediation statement is the use of a wording and tone that implies that the mediation attorneys in the process will be the ones deciding the case.  This is not accurate.  It is in an arbitration proceeding that neutral third parties settle the issue; in a mediation, the parties themselves are the ones who decide how to resolve a dispute.  The mediation attorneys are present as facilitators to help negotiations along and sometimes offer creative, "out of the box" solutions that the parties may not have thought of on their own.


A mediation statement, therefore, needs to speak to the correct audience: the parties on the other side of the dispute.  In an environmental mediation session, this may be the citizens' group protesting a policy or the company or industry implementing it.  In a medical malpractice mediation case, this may be an injured patient or the doctor accused of contributing to said injury.