I believe that mediation is a valuable tool in resolving divorce, custody and family law issues. Not only do I recommend it for my clients in appropriate cases, I have served as a mediator and I have lectured on mediation around the country.
On Wednesday, September 15, I was downtown at the new University of Memphis Law School speaking to a class on mediation with my associate Jennifer Bellot and two other lawyers. For the class, we were able to use a case that Jennifer and I had mediated with two other lawyers. The mediator on the actual case, Hayden Lait, invited me to speak at his mediation class. In order to present the information to the class, we went through the case documents and changed the names and information. We spoke for and hour and thirty minutes.
One of the strong points I made is that preparation is the key to success in mediation. The other key is proper technological tools which include a portable computer, printer and scanner. Our team uses these techniques in mediation so if the mediation is successful, everyone can leave the mediation with signed documents. With these approaches, our “fall apart” rate (those cases that are settled at mediation and then fall apart that night or the next day) can be reduced to virtually zero. Mediation, like all lawyers’ tools, is useful, but it is most useful if it is done right. We believe that we have developed techniques and approaches that increase our clients’ success at mediation.