PHILOSOPHY

Steve Rottman's goal as a mediator is to help parties in conflict find their way to a resolution that makes more sense than continued litigation. His approach varies with each mediation, but it is always predicated on his commitment to being honest with the parties, exploring every avenue of resolution, remaining impartial, maintaining confidentiality, and respecting the views and decisions of counsel and their clients. Steve is compassionate but candid. Expect to have frank discussion about the respective merits of the positions asserted and the potential risks and rewards of resolving the matter through litigation instead of negotiation.

INITIATING MEDIATION

If all parties have already agreed to mediate, simply call or email us to discuss preferred dates and locations. We are also happy to assist in obtaining the agreement of others to mediate.

THE PRE-MEDIATION CONFERENCE CALL

Once the parties have agreed to mediation, Mr. Rottman welcomes a short pre-mediation conference call with counsel to discuss how to maximize the likelihood of reaching resolution at the mediation. This is the time to discuss the following:

What, if anything, needs to occur for the parties to be fully prepared to resolve the case at mediation.
Ideas to improve the effectiveness of the process.
Potential impediments to settlement.
Opportunities to resolve any additional disputes between the parties.
The participation of all necessary parties and decision-makers at the mediation.
The status of insurance coverage and the participation of the carrier.
The time, location and other logistics of the mediation.

WRITTEN STATEMENTS

Mediation briefs are extremely helpful and will be studied carefully by Mr. Rottman. Briefs should be confidential and received at least SEVEN days prior to the mediation. Please include a detailed description of the facts and the claims being litigated, the procedural history of the case, an analysis of the respective strengths and weakness of each party's position, a description of any prior settlement negotiations, and the key exhibits.

THE MEDIATION SESSION

All parties will begin the mediation in separate rooms, with the mediator spending some time with each party in private confidential caucus. If the parties agree and the mediator believes it would be effective, one or more joint sessions may be held. Often it is productive to have the parties speak to each other in joint session, and counsel should discuss this possibility with their clients and the mediator. Joint sessions are run by the mediator with the express commitment of all parties to maintain civility and respect. At the conclusion of the joint session, the parties return to their respective caucus rooms, and the mediator typically engages in "shuttle diplomacy" between the rooms.

CONFIDENTIALITY

All participants are required to sign a written confidentiality agreement at the outset. Counsel and their clients are asked to review the agreement before the mediation so that any potential issues relating to that agreement can be resolved before the mediation.