The litigant plays a crucial role in the mediation process. While the mediator does not always request to speak with the litigant, the litigant should be prepared regardless. To that end, there are a number of things the litigant should do to prepare for mediation. The following is a brief list of important things to remember at mediation:
- Know your case: The litigant should always read and fully familiarize his or herself with the mediation statement. This refreshes the litigant’s memory as to the facts in the matter, and helps the litigant understand the legal basis of his or her claims.
- Discuss how you feel: The litigant should be specifically prepared to discuss with the mediator how the events underlying the claims have affected his or her life to date. The litigant should be prepared to discuss any injury, counseling, treatment, or medication the litigant is currently receiving, as well as employment status and efforts to find employment in employment litigation The litigant should be able to specify his or her economic damages and identify and expand upon specific symptoms associated with his or her injury in personal injury matters.
- Dress: While the litigant is not going to court, the litigant should still dress as if he or she is. Generally, the more conservative the clothing, the better. A suit and a tie for men, or dress pants and a sports jacket with a tie are acceptable. A pants suit and conservative blouse or a skirt, blouse and sweater are acceptable for women. You do not want to distract the mediator from the case at hand with your appearance.