Mediation in the Ninth Circuit


D. The In-Person Mediation

When all counsel and the mediator are in agreement, the mediator will schedule an in-person mediation. It may be held at the court or, in appropriate cases, in other locations. In planning the mediation, counsel should expect to address many of the following questions:

  • Who is the appropriate decision maker on your side?

  • Who might be the appropriate decision maker on the other side(s)?

  • If your side is a governmental entity, who is the person most likely to be able to “sell” a negotiated solution to the appropriate decision-making body?

  • Are there any non-parties whose presence at the mediation is necessary to reach a resolution? (For example, insurance carriers, lien-holders, spouses, experts, or other stakeholders or advisors.)

  • What information do you need to make the mediation productive?

  • What information might the other side need to make the mediation productive?

  • What does the mediator need to know to prepare? What’s the best way to get the mediator prepared?

  • Does your client have any particular sensitivities of which the mediator should be aware?

  • Is there any related litigation that should be included?

  • What location would be most convenient?

  • Do you or your client have any calendar limitations? (For example, scheduled vacations, or long trials.)

  • Does any participant have health or mobility issues that might need to be accommodated?