30 Jan The Super Bowl of All Mediations!
Only one can be the Super Bowl of all mediations: your mediation. For most people, mediation, and not trial, is the big day since most cases settle before trial. All of the work has been done. You have a good game plan. Its been a team effort. You have a healthy respect for your opponent Now, all will be decided before the end of the day.
You feel the pressure just like the players fell it while preparing. But you know you are prepared. We are ready to start but not before some commercials. This is when the mediator and attorneys compliment common colleagues. This can take somewhat longer than a 30 seconds or 1 minute television ad.
Then it starts. Opening statements by the attorneys and you can feel the tension in the air. It is just like when the coin flip is made at the 50 yard line by the team captains. (OK, not really.)
You settle in and the negotiations have you going go back and forth between offense and defense. It is too early to make any predictions. The opposition runs a play you were not prepared for. ERISA, prior diagnosis… But you respond well and you march down the field as negotiations progress.
Then comes the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Its is always the most entertaining part. This is when the attorneys threaten an impasse. MVP awards are decided here.
The second half begins and a settlement soon follows. Just like the Super Bowl, there is usually not any prolonged drama. It can be quite anticlimactic. Then both parties are exceptionally happy and give all the credit to the mediator- as long as I am writing the story.
Its the big day. There is tension. Its a team effort. And early drama gives way to an uneventful finish. There is even a halftime show. That is why your mediation is like the Super Bowl.