Stay up to date on everything mediation!

Subscribe to our free newsletter,
"This Week in Mediation"

Sign Up Now

Already subscribed No subscription today
Mediate.com

Preparing for a Successful Outcome

by Jan Frankel Schau
June 2013

View from the Middle of the Road blogspot

Jan Frankel Schau

Mediation hearings are not really the best place for surprises. Recently, I was mediating what appeared to be a garden variety single plaintiff wage and hour case. The Defense lawyers, representing a small business, had carefully analyzed the damage exposure to their client and given him advice on the parameters of the value of the case. The parties had exchanged briefs and communicated their opening offers before the hearing. The Defense arrived committed to resolving the case, at an uncomfortably high, but affordable value if necessary.
Unfortunately, as I got to know the Plaintiff, she revealed an incident of violence in the workplace which, if true, had the potential of completely changing the value of the case. The defendants were caught unawares and the negotiation was severely hampered, and ultimately unsuccessful given that this allegation had not been verified or even made a part of the pleadings by the time of the mediation hearing. There had been no discovery--formal or informal and the Defendants had no way of evaluating the veracity of a claim that was made for the first time during the first hour of a 1/2 day mediation hearing.
In this instance, the Plaintiff's attorney was also unaware of the new issue, so he could not have raised it sooner. Still, in negotiation, being prepared and preparing your client and your adversary, will always have a better chance of success than surprising the lawyers and parties with new facts and allegations at the time of the hearing.

That's my View from the Middle of the Road!

Biography


Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the needs of their representatives with the risk and expenses of trial. Those who have used Ms. Schau’s services recognize excellence in her persistence, optimism, creativity and integrity.

Ms. Schau was the President of the Southern California Mediation Association in 2007 and is recognized as among the most outstanding mediators in Southern California in the mediation of civil disputes by her peers and clients. She also serves as a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and has presided as Chair of it’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and Litigation Section. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Skills in Negotiation from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution of Pepperdine University as well as from the Western Law Center for Disability Rights at Loyola Law School.



Email Author
Website: www.schaumediation.com

Additional articles by Jan Frankel Schau

Comments