• mediation speeds up resolution
    saves money, and satisfies clients.


how do I get the other side/my client/my lawyer to agree to mediate?

THIS CAN BE THE HARDEST QUESTION IN MEDIATION. Here are some ideas:

Just Ask. The first way is simply to ask your adversary. If you are in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division or Chancery Division, or another county with court-annexed mediation, you can make the suggestion or raise the question in court if the judge does not do so. The court has the power to order the parties to hire a private mediator.

Give References. Identify prominent attorneys who have embraced mediation (a number of those in Cook County are themselves certified as mediators in the Court program) and enlist their help, especially those who practice with or are well known to your opposing counsel. If your adversary has not mediated before, s/he may be willing to try the process once they speak to someone who has had success with mediation.

Offer To Pay. While mediator neutrality means that most mediators prefer the situation in which both sides contribute to the cost of mediation, it can make the prospect of mediation more attractive to offer to pay for all of the mediation. The agreement can contemplate that the cost of the mediation will then become one of the items on the table for discussion.

Let Them Pick The Mediator. Mediators cling to their neutrality, so usually there is not a lot to worry about if you select a mediator identified with the other side. Offer to opposing counsel to allow them to select the mediator, or propose a list from which you can select.

Use A Service To Convene The Mediation. Specifically, call Jennifer Morrow at ADR Systems of Illinois, or Jan Holdinski at AAA, or Debbie Steward at JAMS, or Mike Weinzierl at Resolute Systems. Explain your problem to them. Ask them to approach your opposing counsel to seek their agreement to mediate, and, of course, mediate the case through their service. They can arrange a mediation with any number of skilled professionals. There are also two local mediation groups that can be sources for a mediator: The Association of Attorney Mediators (Illinois/National) and The Center for Conflict Resolution.

The ADR Pledge. If your adverse party is a corporate entity, or if the opposing counsel is from a major law firm, you can check on the website of the International Institute For Conflict Prevention and Resolution (“CPR Institute”) to see if they have signed on to the “ADR Pledge.” The website is www.cpradr.org. This is what the pledge says:

corporations

“We recognize that for many disputes there is a less expensive, more effective method of resolution than the traditional lawsuit. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures involve collaborative techniques which can often spare businesses the high costs of litigation. In recognition of the foregoing, we subscribe to the following statements of principle on behalf of company and its domestic subsidiaries:

In the event of a business dispute between our company and another company which has made or will then make a similar statement, we are prepared to explore with that other party resolution of the dispute through negotiation or ADR techniques before pursuing full-scale litigation. If either party believes that that dispute is not suitable for ADR techniques, or if such techniques do not produce results satisfactory to the disputants, either party may proceed with litigation.”

law firms

“We recognize that for many disputes there may be methods more effective for resolution than traditional litigation. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures – used in conjunction with litigation or independently – can significantly reduce the costs and burdens of litigation and result in solutions not available in court.

In recognition of the foregoing, we subscribe to the following statements of policy on behalf of our firm.

First, appropriate lawyers in our firm will be knowledgeable about ADR.
Second, where appropriate, the responsible attorney will discuss with the client the availability of ADR procedures so the client can make an informed choice concerning resolution of the dispute.”

This pledge is hardly a contractual undertaking, but it is a basis on which to approach the adverse party to suggest mediation.

Back to Top