How to Prepare for a Mediation in AZ

The Boy Scout’s motto – Be Prepared – applies to mediation in Phoenix AZ.   Below are four ideas of how you can prepare yourself for a successful mediation.

1.     Understand what is not worth fighting about. Before refusing to bend on an issue, ask yourself:  Is this an issue really worth fighting about, or is it something I am willing to concede to get some other benefit?  Some people spend thousands of dollars fighting over an issue worth fifty dollars.  If the issue is not worth thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars of trial preparation.  If it is not, be willing to give. Do not let ego or stubbornness prevent you from reaching a good settlement.  Keep your eye on the prize: the resolution of your conflict, so you can move forward in your life without the risk, cost and suffering involved in litigation.

2.     Know your risks and your risk tolerance. Before you mediate, you should have some understanding of what your life may look like if you do not settle.  What are the costs involved if I do not settle?  What are my chances of success?  What happens if I lose at trial?  Am I okay with risking a bad outcome?

3.     Know the issues in dispute. If you are going to be dividing assets, educate yourself on an approximate value of those assets.  Mediators cannot give legal or accounting advice, so if you have those kinds of questions, get them answered.  If you do not know how to get the answer to your questions, the parties and the mediator can address methods of obtaining knowledge in mediation.  For example, the parties may choose to jointly hire an appraiser to value a business, a home or a piece of art.  If only one party has necessary information, that information can be shared through the mediation process.

4.     Keep your emotions in check. Conflict can make us all crazy.  However, if your goal is to settle a dispute, rather than to, say, seek vengeance, do your best to keep a clear mind.  Treat mediation as a business negotiation, and rely on your loved ones to help address the pain you are undoubtedly feeling.

Mediation in AZ Part 2

Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator and attorney in Arizona.  If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or  This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice.  See a legal professional before making legal decisions.

Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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