Screwed at Mediation...or Not!

I know that many lawyers prepare their clients for mediation by telling them that a good outcome will be one that leaves everyone feeling screwed, in an even-handed sort of way.

I think that there is a better way to help define a successful mediation; We will do the best we can under the circumstances, the circumstances being the facts, the law and available resources. Resources include the time, money and the emotional energy a person is willing to expend to gain any particular result.

This simple formulation acknowledges the importance of how people feel about the controversy - angry, sad, disappointed… and provides a useful context in which they can make sense of how they feel about the outcome.