Mediating with Self−Represented Parties

Patricia provides customized mediation services for parties who choose to mediate their disputes without the assistance of counsel ("self−represented parties") in business, employment and family financial disputes.

Attorneys add great value to the resolution of their clients´ disputes, but in some cases parties may choose to mediate the resolution of their dispute directly with one another or may mediate directly and consult counsel before and/or after reaching deal terms.

Developing a Plan to Mediate the Dispute

At the initiation of an engagement to mediate a dispute with self−represented parties, an initial joint telephone conference is conducted with all parties to discuss the general nature of the dispute; the key issues the parties wish to resolve; whether counsel might be necessary at some point in the process; any time constraints; the most efficacious process to utilize at the mediation session; and other concerns or questions the parties may have.  Patricia, in consultation with the parties, will then develop a general plan to prepare for the mediation of the dispute.

Defining the Issues and Setting the Agenda

Typically, preparation for the mediation session includes a separate, in−depth conference between Patricia and each of the parties.  From these more− detailed conversations, Patricia identifies the issues to be addressed at the mediation and sets an agenda for the mediation.  This is sent to the parties prior to the mediation and may be modified after feedback from the parties.  The agreed agenda serves as a general guide for the mediation session and assures that the key issues of all parties are addressed.

Other Tools for Pre−Session Preparation

Patricia has developed tools to help the parties prepare for the mediation session, including a questionnaire to assist parties in prioritizing their legal or business interests, as well as their personal interests, and in gaining a better overt appreciation of the opposing side’s interests prior to the mediation session.

Curiosity, Empathy and Focus on Resolution

Patricia Prince gives her clients her full attention and effort when mediating in order to maintain a fair process and bring about resolution.  Patricia listens carefully, with curiosity and empathy, for case themes and to understand the perspective of all parties of the dispute.  She helps the parties identify and prioritize their interests; analyze options and stay focused on resolution as they negotiate.  Patricia is adept at moving parties from impasse to settlement, employing her experience, optimism and persistence to help both sides attain an optimal resolution.

Patricia Prince