5 Pitfalls for mediation advocates

Written by Lyle Charles

Clients in order to speed up a case and reduce further delays in a construction project often suggest private mediation. However, in some cases, private mediation can be a disadvantage and an approach that can result in lost opportunities.  Here are a few such instances;

Not being prepared- since mediation involves a relaxed setting that is not as structured as court proceedings, mediation advocates can come in unprepared for sessions. This is a waste of time for both parties and inevitably causes more delays. Therefore, mediation advocates should always come prepared with the facts and the law of the case.

Not addressing the opposing party – Often mediators may feel that if they address the opposing party they may weaken the case. However, this is not the case as addressing the opposing party and given them clear options will speed up a resolution.

Making it a trial – Mitigation is not a trial and making it into one will cause anger and resentment within both parties. Highlight only the issues and not the individuals involved.

Going second – If you wait for the other party to make the first move, chances are that you will not have a clear handle on the negotiation process. Instead, make the first move and keep an open mind. This will give you the flexibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of your client.

To get the most out of your mediation sessions involving construction, it is advisable to get assistance from a company that offers construction advisory services.


Lyle Charles is an expert in construction claims analysis for commercial and residential construction.