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"Ken is an amazing mediator who has a wealth of experience and knowledge. You will quickly realize that he is working for YOU, and will do so vigorously until all options are explored." - Michelle C.

"Mediation is not supposed to be this fun! Ken has a way of making this process as smooth as it can be. He allowed us to look at the big picture and put our dispute in perspective." - Jay P.

"Ken is like a 'Mediation Chameleon,' he can be tough, or he can be your best friend. He has an uncanny way to determine which approach is best to resolve a situation." - Simon S.

Sunnyvale Mediation Blog



How to Make the Most of Your Mediation

May 15, 2012, By Ken Spalasso, Esq.

While you may have secured the services of a skilled mediator, and have your mediation scheduled, you still need a gameplan to figure out what you want to accomplish at your session. Too many people go into a mediation expecting the mediator to convince other person to concede to every demand made. Unfortunately, its a little more complicated than that. Here's 5 tips that will significantly increase the chances of a mutually acceptable solution:

1. Look for gestures that you can make on mediation day that will show the other side that you are willing to be flexible during the session. Prioritize your demands in order of importance, and perhaps show the other party you're open to meeting them halfway on issues that are of lesser significance to you. For instance, if all parties agree you are owed $1,000, perhaps suggest to the other party that you are willing to accept payments, instead of one lump sum.

2. Bring any individuals along that need to be part of the decision-making. For instance, if the approval of your spouse or other family member is of major significance, they should attend the mediation. Going forward without the necessary parties can result in the other party feeling like you are not taking the process seriously, and can even cause them to refuse to further participate in any settlement discussions.

3. Bring your evidence, and organize it by separating and highlighting the key documents. Many times a party will see a particularly damaging piece of evidence they did not know existed, and this will completely change their settlement posture. Make sure you don't spend the mediation scrambling for an important document, email, or contract.

4. Act professional and courteous. This is easier said than done, but sometimes a simple mediation over a simple issue, can quickly turn particularly challenging, when one party takes verbal shots at the other, or reacts to hearing the other party in an immature fashion. Understand that there will be things said that you disagree with, and let the mediator address those items in a productive way.

5. Come with an open mind. Sometimes, in order to get what you want in a mediation, you have to show that you completely understand the other party's concerns, frustrations, and legal position. Even though you may have ideas about what really is motivating the other party, you should still be able to express and summarize the message they are trying to get across to you. The more you can show the other party that you have listened to them, the more they are likely to end up returning the favor.




Sunnyvale Mediation is located in Sunnyvale and works with clients throughout the Bay Area. We serve Santa Clara County, San Mateo County , San Francisco County, and Alameda County, including the cities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose, Morgan Hill, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell, Milpitas, Redwood City, San Carlos, Belmont, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, San Mateo, Burlingame, Millbrae, Hillsborough, San Bruno, Daly City , Pacifica, South San Francisco, Brisbane, San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, Union City, Fremont, Newark, Castro Valley, Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore.