Mediation Statements

Before a mediation, which is a meeting where a business attorney Tulsa not involved in the case will help both sides try to settle the dispute, the mediator will request a written statement on your behalf that tells your side of the story. This written statement we call a “mediation statement.”

I have written hundreds of mediation statements. Mediation statements take all forms, ask your business attorney Tulsa. Some are entirely in writing. Some have pictures littered throughout like some high school science books. I once saw a mediation statement that was a film of recorded video testimony combined with some text in between the shots. There is more than one way of preparing them, and the method you choose to employ will vary considerably.

For a brief time, I served as an Adjunct Settlement Judge for Tulsa County. Because Tulsa County judges are overwhelmed with civil litigation, they employ a volunteer program where experienced attorneys are confirmed by the sitting judges to serve as an Adjunct Settlement Judge. The ASJs as we called them would conduct free mediations to parties who did not want to pay for a private mediator. Sometimes, cases have really low value so it makes no financial sense to pay a private mediator. I saw some very interesting mediation statements from the attorneys in these cases. I never understood why as you should prepare a mediation statement the same way regardless of who it is for. I once received a mediation statement that was an e-mail with obvious types and sentence fragments. I was embarrassed for the business attorney Tulsa who submitted it.

I always recommend hiring a business attorney Tulsa if you are going to a mediation. Most lawyers are very familiar with the process and can make sure your best interests are represented. But if you are forced to go it alone, just how do you prepare one of these mediation statements?

When you are preparing a mediation statement, keep in mind the following to make sure you put your best foot forward.
The first tip to remember is that a trained business attorney Tulsa will read a mediation statement from you and your opponent. This means that he/she is going to take time to read and probably re-read both of these. Most mediators charge by the hour for their services, and preparation time is a critical part of a mediator’s work day. Keep in mind that mediators have certain ethical obligations regarding written submissions. If you produce 100 pages of densely printed material as an attachment, the mediator is ethically obligated to read it. You should be mindful of this when preparing your statement. Say what you need to say and not much more. Because the more you say or produce, the more time it will take the mediator to read and study it, and the more you will have to pay.

The second tip to remember is that the mediation statement should be your best foot forward. When I was in college and law school, I as a business attorney Tulsa attended countless seminars on resume and cover letter writing. I routinely heard from these folks that the resume should be flawless. No typos, spacing errors, grammar errors, or punctuation areas. It needed to be perfect. Their rationale behind this statement was sound. If the resume contained an error, there’s a good chance you would not get hired as the company would think you have poor attention to detail. The same is true with your mediation statement. There is a good chance your mediator will have never met you. And most disputes that go to mediation almost always have a credibility element to the parties involved. If your statement contains an error or errors, and your opponent’s is flawless, you are already behind and the mediation has not even started yet. I recommend writing your mediation statement at least two days before it is due. Walk away from it for 24 hours and then edit it from start to finish then send it to your business attorney Tulsa. On the day it is due, edit it one final time and then send it in. This means it will have gone through two edits prior to submissions. That process substantially reduces the likelihood of error.

My third and final suggestions as a business attorney Tulsa regarding mediation statements is to try and have the words you write supported by external evidence. As a person who has attended a gagillion mediations, I can tell you that mediators always ask me for proof. They also always ask me to see certain documents regarding contested claims. I try to think in advance what issues will be most contentious and then know exactly where my documents are that will support those claims. I often make what I call a “Mediation Binder.” A “Mediation Binder” contains, at a minimum, the following: my mediation statement, my opponent’s mediation statement, the most recent copy of any exhaustive case report I’ve prepared for the client, and a section of the most important documents in my case. I make a copy for the client as well. This way, I do not have to dig through a file to find an important document as it is usually in the back of my mediation binder.

If you have a mediation coming up, consider hiring RC Law Group to represent you. I have prepared, edited, and received thousands of mediation statements. I as a business attorney Tulsa know what goes into them and was very humbly rewarded with some kind words from mediators. One mediator who has probably done thousands of mediations once told me that my mediation statements were some of the best he’s ever seen. He even wrote a letter to my bosses at the time telling them I was the best young lawyer he’s ever seen. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but I am an author of two books and have received awards in law school for my writing.

If you like the way this piece is prepared, imagine having the author prepare a mediation statement for you on your behalf. It could be a powerful weapon to help minimize your exposure and resolve a dispute.

If you need a mediation statement for your business, call RC Law Group today. One of our business attorney Tulsa will be happy to prepare a quality, thorough, passionate statement to protect the business you have worked so hard to build.