The COVID-19 Pandemic has given us an opportunity to re-invent the way we practice law. We may try cases differently, and we may choose to meet with our clients differently. We might even get the chance to mediate cases differently. Nevertheless, right now many of us must hold much of our mediation online. Therefore, we need to ask, “How can I set myself up for successful online mediations?”
Consider these suggestions for making your online mediation experience more enjoyable and productive:
Do a Trial Run
Conduct a pre-mediation conference with your client online well in advance of the scheduled mediation, using the same platform that will be used by your mediator, typically ZOOM.
This will not only help you and your client develop a mediation strategy, you will also identify any technology issues ahead of time.
Plan to Go the Distance
Encourage your clients to think about how (and you as well!) they can minimize distractions by anything not related to their mediation.
Have snacks and drinks readily available and make a plan for lunch—most mediators do not adjourn for lunch.
Prepare Needed Documents
Make sure your clients have in their possession all the documents they might need during the mediation, printed and ready to go.
I hope you find these ideas helpful when planning your online mediation. I offer both in-person, online, and hybrid mediation services and would welcome the opportunity to mediate your cases.