Mediation Preparation Check List For Attorneys

By Ed Sikorski

The most powerful step anyone can take to achieve their negotiation goals is preparation.

We need look no further than a publication of the Defense Procurement and Acquisitions Policy. The department asserts in is online Negotiation Preparation materials that thorough preparation is the most important prerequisite to effective negotiation. “Neither experience, bargaining skill, nor persuasion on the part of the negotiator can compensate for the absence of preparation”.

The DPAP flow chart accompanying the discussion lists the following steps to define “preparation”

1) Tailor the negotiation team to the situation
2) Identify negotiation issues and objects
3) Identify your bargaining partners’ history and probable approach
4) Assess bargaining strengths and weakness
5) Identify negotiation priorities and potential tradeoffs
6) Prepare a negotiation plan
7) Present the negotiation plan
8) Prepare a negotiating agenda

This step- by –step negotiation preparation process, though designed to help defense department agencies purchase everything from pencils to complex fighter aircraft, is every bit as useful to the attorneys engaged in mediation.