Among the many excellent programs at the 17th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference
we heard Christopher Soelling
and Teresa Wakeen speak on "Fact or Fiction: How We Really Mediate."
Chris weighed-in on the question whether parties' pre-mediation submissions should be shared among the parties or just sent confidentially to the mediator. He has them shared, suggesting that this is a great and otherwise lost opportunity to persuade and educate the other side.
Other mediators suggest that they can learn useful information from confidential submissions that wouldn't be shared with the other side. And that writing one more adversarial document doesn't help the parties move toward resolution.
What do you think? What do you do? What makes sense to you?