Mediator’s Proposal

A proposal made by a mediator as a way to settled a dispute. Usually a mediator proposal is made by the mediator when he/she knows the parties are close to a resolution, but there is a gap between what each will accept – a compromise. Typically a mediator will make a proposal when the gap between settlement terms each side is offering is small in terms of the magnitude of the claim, say below 20%, i.e., $€£20,000 in a case worth under $€£100,000 5-figure case, $€£100,000 in case worth up to $€£1 million, etc. To a degree this reflects a rough sense of what litigating to an outcome will cost both parties. Typically, a mediator’s proposal is ‘double-blind’; that is, neither side knows if the other accepted the proposal unless both sides accept.

Although mdiator’s proposals are common, mediators need to be very cautious about advancing them, because they can lead parties to try to litigate their case to the mediator, that is to say, try to persuade the mediator to make a clear decision as to which party should win the underlying dispute, rather than treat mediation as an opportunity to resolve the dispute.

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