By: Donald C. Turner
In order to maximize the possibility that a mediation will be successful the mediator needs to assure that all parties come to the mediation with the authority necessary to resolve the dispute. However with institutional parties, such as insurance companies, the representative will often have only limited authority to settle. This limited authority is normally based upon the information available to the party at the time the mediation occurs. As a result the mediator needs to assure that all parties have the information necessary to fully evaluate the case before the mediation commences. In addition when dealing with institutional parties it is very helpful if the mediator assures that the representatives of the institutional parties have made arrangements to reach the appropriate officials if the resolution of the matter requires that party to offer something in excess of the representative’s authority.
Lack of settlement authority is often the cause of a failed mediation and as a result the mediator needs to do everything in his or her power to assure each party comes to the mediation with all necessary information and with adequate authority to settle the matter.