Judge Terry Lukens (Ret.) on Pretrial Preparation for Mediation

Judge Terry Lukens provides lawyers, with whom he is going to mediate a case, with an excellent checklist that they can follow in preparation for it. You may find this checklist to be a valuable tool in your preparation.

Judge Lukens currently is with JAMS in Seattle, Washington. He has mediated and arbitrated over 700 cases involving a broad range of complicated and complex issues. In 2008, Seattle Business Monthly named him Alternative Dispute Resolution “Top Lawyer.” After extensive experience as a practicing lawyer, he became a King County Superior Court Judge. He also served as the mayor of the city of Bellevue and I was fortunate to co-teach with him at Seattle University Law School for several years.

This is the beginning of Judge Lukens “Mediation Preparation Checklist”:

• Analyze the barriers to settlement – why hasn’t this matter settled? Lack of communication? Emotion? Lack of information? Old family grudges? What can be learned from the negotiations, if any, that have already taken place?
• Consider how the mediation and mediator can help you overcome those barriers to settlement.
• Make certain that everyone whose decision is necessary for settlement can participate and that someone with sufficient authority to settle is available – the absence of a party or decision maker can doom the mediation.
• Identify other people who may need to be at the table or available by phone – accountants, actuaries, insurance advisors, or business and tax advisors.

For the full Mediation Preparation Checklist click here.