A majority of counties in South Carolina require mediation. Both state and federal courts now routinely require parties to participate in this process for a variety of reasons. Here are a few aspects of mediation for the plaintiff to remember:
- At the beginning of a mediation, both parties and their lawyers will sit in an opening session. The attorneys will present their side of the case, while a neutral mediator listens to both sides. Both sides should listen to the other’s perspective and understand the attorney is being an advocate for their client.
- Both parties will be very far apart in their initial settlement position. Both sides should be patient and understand that the finish line is a known settlement as opposed to the uncertainty of a jury verdict.
- Mediation is a process that will test your patience! Most mediations will last between 3 and 6 hours. The mediator has to spend time with each side to gather information, understand the positions, and exchange demands/offers.
- Mediation only works with compromise. Parties rarely are “happy” with the resolution. Rather, the process requires people to make concessions to reach a fair deal.
Julian Allen is a certified court mediator and routinely represents people who are litigants in mediation. Please contact Allen Law if you have additional questions about the mediation process.