FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

How do I decide to choose Mediation+Arbitration (“M+A”) as a Mediator?

Bob Sullivan is available to talk with you, without charge, about a proposed mediation or arbitration. Call him at 816-309-6840. He can talk with you, answer questions, and provide information for both you and your opposing counsel.

 

Who should attend the mediation?

A mediation can be scheduled either before or after the filing of a petition or complaint. In either case, the persons attending should have enough information to discuss the facts underlying the dispute, be capable of evaluating strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions, and be prepared and authorized to engage in settlement discussions. However, this is not in the same detail required if the matter were going before a judge or jury. The attendance of decision-makers for both parties is required. A decision-maker is a person that has the authorization to make decisions based on information or evaluations arising during the course of the mediation and who does not have to reach outside to parties not in attendance at the mediation for authority. Insurance company representatives with authority to bind the insurance company should attend the mediation. The mediation will not be scheduled without the names and attendance of the parties and their representatives that have decision-making authority.

What information should be provided prior to the date scheduled for the mediation?

  • (1) All pre-mediation demands and responses thereto between the parties and their representatives, including any claims to insurance companies and/or partial or full denials of the same.
  • (2) If post-filing, a copy of the petition or complaint and answer.
  • (3) A mediation brief or statement prepared by counsel limited to 10 pages or less, consisting of:
    • (a) a chronological order of material facts;
    • (b) a summary of the issues in dispute, including a reference to evidentiary materials in support of your position;
    • (c) the status of litigation underlying the dispute (if any);
    • (d) a statement of damages and reference to supporting information with respect to the same;
    • (e) a history of any settlement discussions;
  • (4) A draft settlement agreement.
 

All information and statements provided by each party will be confidential as provided solely for purposes of settlement and will not be made available to anyone, including the opposing party or their representatives, without your prior consent. All information should be marked confidential and addressed solely to the mediator.

 

Do you require opening statements to be made by the parties or their representatives in a joint session at the inception of the mediation?

Robert Sullivan will make introductory comments in a joint session to the parties prior to any opening statements by the parties. The purpose of the introductory statement is to provide expectations as to how the mediation will be conducted and logistical information. There is generally no time limit as to the mediation session and the production of a settlement agreement, except as agreed to by the parties or their representatives. While Sullivan believes that reasonable opening statements that are limited to the facts, non-inflammatory and in good taste, can be productive, the parties can determine on their own as to whether they choose to make an opening statement. After the introduction and opening statements, if any, the parties will retire to separate offices and Sullivan will engage in separate caucuses with each party.

 

How long will the mediation last?

The session will last as long as the parties believe reasonable progress is being made toward reaching a settlement agreement. While the minimum mediation session will be scheduled for 3 hours, a longer time may be agreed upon by the parties. In that regard, the parties should make sure their schedules are flexible enough to accommodate a substantially longer period than 3 hours.

What is your fee for mediation services?

The initial fee is a non-refundable minimum fee of $1600. This is based on $400 per hour for 4 hours, a portion of which is for the mediator’s preparation in reviewing mediation statements and getting a basic understanding of the parties’ respective positions. Time in excess of the minimum will be charged at the rate of $400 per hour.