Obstacles to mediation

Parties often want their day in court, and see litigation as a sword with which to slay an opponent.
To that end, some are reluctant to mediate because they do not want to be seen as ‘weak’. In contrast, negotiating with a set objective, choosing to meet your opponent and putting forward your arguments is a sign of strength.
Reluctant parties to mediation should capitalise by using the mediator’s skills to help them engage in the process.
There can be a tendency to use lawyers as a shield once they are instructed, which means that all direct lines of communication between the parties are severed. A common consequence of that is that all sense of proportion is lost and parties become entrenched in their positions.

Mediation gives the opportunity for parties to meet face-to-face, often without their lawyers present. The presence of the neutral mediator can change the dynamics and help facilitate a settlement.
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