...we learned just how much work goes into preparing for mediation – real or staged.
At our first prep meeting for the mock mediation, it was stressed that preparation was the key to doing a good job. We needed to learn our roles, be they as clients or counsel, know what our goals and motivations are, and prepare for how we would react when information we didn’t necessarily want to come out came out.
I myself was playing a particularly unhinged client, lying to herself, her lawyer, and her employer. My character had gone to Jamaica with her boyfriend while on Short Term Disability, and had lied about her troubled history with drugs, alcohol, and the law on her job application. She wanted to keep her job, but more than that, she wanted to feel vindicated in the decisions she had made.
As I learned more about my character and how I wanted to present her I realized that the kind of investigation I was doing was the same I would need to do if I was representing her instead of simply playing her at mediation. In order to be a good advocate, it would not be enough to just replicate the pleadings and take information at face value into mediation.