Initiating Mediation

Disputes can be resolved at any stage of the litigation process, from pre-filing to appeals. If you have questions about timing or how to raise the subject of mediation with the other side, please contact us. We may have worked previously with opposing law firms or parties, and we can provide references to facilitate agreements to mediate.


Once the decision to mediate has been made we will need confirmation from all parties before setting a date. Most cases require only one day of mediation.

If you feel that more than one day is necessary we can help evaluate whether it is preferable to schedule consecutive days or to conduct a preliminary session some time in advance of the final session (to clarify, for example, what issues are driving disparate settlement evaluations, or whether any given settlement option implicates unanticipated tax, accounting or other corporate issues).

Information Exchange

Consider whether you should share data in advance that realistically cannot be adequately evaluated on the day of mediation. If you anticipate that the non-monetary terms of a settlement might be complex, exchanging drafts can avoid a tedious drafting exercise at the end of a long day of negotiations, as well as surfacing issues that might benefit from input from parties not in attendance at the mediation.


The single greatest determinant of success is having the real decision makers with final settlement authority personally attend the mediation. We cannot overstate the importance of this factor. Nominal authority without real discretion does not work. Beyond that, it is a judgment call whether attendance by percipient or expert witnesses will be helpful.


Briefs are customary. Please try to keep the text to ten pages and strike a balance on exhibits to minimize the risk that we miss a critical page in a sea of documents.

Customized Processes

Some disputes lack well-defined decision making structures or need advanced work to develop the data necessary for identification or evaluation of settlement options. Too often parties embark on lengthy and expensive processes without a clear understanding of what will ultimately prove critical for a successful resolution. We are experts at closure. Having resolved thousands of disputes over the course of several decades we know what facilitates and what can interfere with settlements. We can help you to construct an efficient process to reach resolution.


Working with Antonio Piazza, a well-known mediator, Mr. Zuckerberg and the Winklevosses started that morning and worked into the early morning of Feb. 23 in their effort to negotiate a settlement.

It took a mediator—and a trip to Maui—to break the biggest logjam in landmark settlement talks between Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.