What advantages are specific to mediation?

  • Party Self-Determination and Client Satisfaction: The parties help to fashion and ultimately  agree upon a resolution.  Parties avoid the risk of an unpredictable jury,  judge, or arbitrator.  The inherent “buy-in” generates solutions that parties will respect.
  • Mediation is Cost and Time Efficient:  Focus on critical issues results in cost savings from appropriate case management of  depositions, expert reports,  and avoiding voluminous e-discovery. Parties avoid protracted delays  from an overburdened court calendar and repeated business interruption from an inflexible judiciary.
  • Customization of Process.  One size does not fit all.  N. Janine Dickey works with counsel to uniquely tailor the mediation process for optimal results.  Consideration is given to: the substantive nature of the dispute; complexity of issues; amount in controversy; needs of the parties and requests of counsel.
  • Creative Win-Win Solutions.  Identifying underlying interests and future consequences facilitates the creation of resolution options which may actually expand the proverbial “pie” for a Win-Win solution.

What types of cases are appropriate for mediation?

“[Mediation] cuts across almost every type of dispute or transaction that a lawyer may encounter in practice.” Frankel & Stark, The Practice of Mediation (Aspen Publishers 2008).

When is the optimal time to mediate?   The optimal time is very case (and client) specific.

Is earlier better?

Earlier is often better as:

  • Costs increase as a case progresses
  • Parties become more entrenched
  • Experts tend to pump up expectation


  • Facts must be sufficiently developed
  • Legal merits must be understood
  • Insurance coverage and carrier issues must be considered

Is mediation appropriate for complex disputes?

Mediation is ideal for most complex disputes.  The mediator can play a “discovery master” role for appropriate discovery exchange.   The flexibility of the mediation process accommodates multi-party cases with cross-interests and claims. Freed from procedural, statutory and remedial award constraints, creative solutions to complex problems can be fashioned.