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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

"We have a strong case - there's no point mediating."

Really? Is settlement possible only when the party with the strong case is prepared to sell itself down the river, to ditch cogent arguments purely for the sake of a deal?

No. Mediation is an opportunity to canvass all types of case. It provides a format to explore the arguments and to coax an opponent with weak arguments towards a settlement which reflects the strength of the case against it.

That is not to say that parties should come to mediation with a fixed mindset; being prepared to accept only a limited range of outcomes; looking to influence but not to be influenced.

Is there ever such a thing as a cast-iron case? Clients should be encouraged to come to mediation with an open mind, despite a firm assessment of their case, to listen to the contrary arguments and to be prepared to give credit for those arguments where credit is due.

And when your opponent tells you that he cannot see the point of mediating because his client is bound to win, would you be over cynical in thinking that this could be a bit of bluster?

Mediator: Matthew Greenberg

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