My colleague mediator Tim Wallis, has written an interesting article Mediation fist fights and other surprises for the Personal Injury Brief Update Law Journal. I think you have to register with the site to read the article which you can do following the link above. To find the article go to the September 2011 edition and scroll down to the Mediation and ADR articles.
Tim has listed 13 examples of unexpected events which have caused problems at mediation – obviously I won’t repeat them here. My contribution to the article was the example of people turning up to a mediation whom the other side were not expecting. I had a couple of difficult cases back-to-back where this happened. You end up mediating the question of who can attend even before the mediation can start.
Many of the surprises are not deliberate attempts to ambush the other side but rather come about through a lack of preparation. I’d like to hear from you if you have been to a mediation where the other side has done something unexpected and how that impacted on the negotiations – add your comment below.