Because we have what we refer to as “freedom of contract,” a mediated settlement agreement often has the additional advantage of being custom-tailored to the parties’ desires and concerns, in a way that a judge-rendered court order simply does not. It is also often a great way to avoid both the financial and emotion toll of prolonged litigation.

A good mediator can reason with parties about the realities of litigation, risks, and the benefits of moving forward, while maintaining each parties’ trust as an objective settlement facilitator. It’s important to be straightforward and direct, but also caring and attentive to each party’s concerns, feelings and goals. A good attorney representing clients at mediations knows how to communicate well with the mediator, how to present their client’s case and concerns in a digestible and credible way, and how to advise their client and provide support when it comes time to assess options of settling or moving forward with litigation.