How to Prepare for Mediation in Minnesota

If you are struggling with a business or family law dispute, it’s understandable that you want to resolve the matter as quickly and efficiently as possible. When many people think of dispute resolution, they picture tense and costly court battles. While litigation may be your best option for achieving your desired outcome, there are alternative ways to resolve legal conflicts that are often more cost-effective and less stressful. Disputing parties in Minnesota may decide to give mediation a try; this process allows the involved parties to work together under the guidance of a neutral third party in order to achieve a workable solution. As you prepare for the mediation process to begin, here are a few tips for making the process as smooth and successful as possible.

Understanding the Role of the Mediator

Mediation is designed to facilitate productive negotiations between the disputing parties, allowing them to shape the outcome together. It’s important to note that the role of the mediator is not to take a side or push a specific agenda. Rather, the mediator will guide the discussion and encourage both parties to participate openly and respectfully. If you attend a pre-mediation session with the mediator, they may ask you to explain your position and even play a bit of devil’s advocate in order for you to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and that of the other party. The mediator does not support a particular side but employs a number of strategies to get you and the other party to begin the mediation process with a thorough understanding of all sides of the issue.

Be Prepared For a Long Day (or Two)

The mechanics and logistics of mediation tend to be much less complex than those of litigation, so it’s fair to anticipate that mediation can help you resolve your dispute in a more timely manner. However, mediation can last an entire day (some disputes may require an additional day or two to reach a resolution). This day can be mentally and emotionally taxing, so it’s helpful to recognize that you’ll need to take whatever steps you can (i.e., getting a good night’s rest, eating a nutritious breakfast) to keep you focused for several consecutive hours.

Compromise and Negotiation are Essential

In order for mediation to work successfully, both parties must approach this process with the shared goal of achieving a fair outcome. As you listen to the other party’s concerns, think about what compromises you both can make in order to achieve a workable solution. If you find yourselves at an impasse, the mediator will attempt to keep the conversation moving. However, there are circumstances in which the parties simply cannot reach a resolution. If this happens, you may wish to consult with your attorney about other options for achieving your desired outcome.

Questions about the mediation process in Minneapolis or St. Paul? Rubric Legal is here to help. Call (612) 465-0074 to learn more today.