has enabled insurers to reduce litigation
expenses while minimizing risk and potential exposure by settling disputes at
This shift from trial to mediation began in 1987, when Florida enacted some
of the most comprehensive alternative
dispute resolution (ADR) legislation in
the country, enabling trial courts to order
parties to enter into mediation. With this
seismic change in the way lawyers conduct their business, there is a corresponding need for attorneys to hone their skills
as advocates in the mediation process.
As advocates for their clients, attorneys must pay as close attention to each and every detail pertaining to the me-
diation process as they would to each ele-
ment of trial preparation. This is partially
because other parties closely observe ev-
erything that attorneys and their clients
do—or fail to do—during mediation.
For many years, disputing parties had
their cases adjudicated through the civilized warfare of trials; however, over the
last 25 years, lawyers have spent considerably less time in the courtroom and
significantly more time in the conference
room. This reduction in courtroom time
10 Cornerstones of Effective
Mediation Advocacy – Part 1
Preparing the Client and the Strategy
By A. Michelle Jernigan and Bruce A. Blitman, Esq.
Editor’s Note: Below is an excerpt of the first installment in a two-part series wherein we highlight ten qualities commonly possessed by attorneys who are successful mediators. We simultaneously identify ten ways attorneys can unknowingly sabotage the same process. To access
parts 1 and 2 in their entirety, visit the Claims channel on PropertyCasualty360.com and select
“Loss Litigation.” We hope you’ll find the five tips enumerated here both useful and informative.