In mediation, the parties meet with a neutral person (the mediator) whose role it is to help them discuss the issues that need resolution to bring their case to conclusion. Sometimes the parties’ attorneys attend and participate in mediation with their clients. The decision about whether to have the attorneys present during mediation is typically made between the attorneys and their clients.
It is important that parties participating in mediation have a clear understanding of the issues in their case, what the law says, and what outcomes are possible if the decision is left to a judge.
A mediator tries to help the parties see the broad range of possibilities between the best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) and the worst alternative to a negotiated agreement (WATNA). Because a judge has all of the possibilities between those extremes available to him or her in reaching a decision, it’s best for the parties to choose their own outcomes whenever possible.
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