These days, the case that gets tried is the exception, and the case that settles at mediation is the rule. A study by the National Center for State Courts concluded that only about 3 percent of civil cases go to trial, while the other 97 percent are settled or dismissed.
This means that mediation is the de facto trial, and you should care and prepare as you would for a judge and jury.
While the atmosphere of mediation invites informality, neither side can forget that the goal is to obtain the highest amount for settlement from the plaintiff’s perspective and the lowest amount from the perspective of the defense, just as if the case were being presented to a jury. (more…)