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Preparing your client for CDR
For CDRs in which mediation is used, it is helpful to discuss your case together with your client prior to the mediation. Bearing in mind that the purpose of mediation is not to determine liability but to explore a settlement, the following matters may be discussed:
- The client's main concerns that have to be addressed in order to resolve this dispute (e.g. monetary compensation, preserving the relationship with the other party or acknowledgement of wrongdoing)
- The strengths and weaknesses of your client's case, and the risks involved in proceeding for a trial
- The likely cost of proceeding for trial (e.g. time, legal costs and reputation) and whether your client is prepared to bear it
- The possible ways of settling the dispute through mediation and how the other party is likely to react to these suggestions Preparing for CDRCDRs in which NE is usedMotor accident cases, personal injury cases (including industrial accidents)Since these are cases in which the Settlement Judge will make an assessment of the merits of the case, you should be prepared to present the legal and factual aspects of your case. The necessary evidence, such as photos and reports should also be obtained. General civil mattersClick here to read more about preparation for Neutral Evaluation for general civil cases.
CDRs in which mediation is usedThe Settlement Judge would typically have a preliminary meeting with the lawyers at the commencement of the mediation. You should be prepared to address the following matters:
- The respective cases of each party
- Areas of agreement and disagreement
- The underlying dynamics in the dispute. The Settlement Judge would also like to be apprised on the relationship between the parties and their negotiation history
- The proposed agenda or issues for the mediation
Note that a mediation session, unlike a trial, is meant to move the parties towards a future settlement instead of allocating blame for past conduct. Lawyers should therefore refrain from taking an adversarial approach during mediation. They should assist their clients in brainstorming and assessing options, ascertaining their goals in mediation as well as determine the possible range of options their client is willing to accept.
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