Olson, Redford & Wahlberg
Katherine Wahlberg encourages her clients and other parties to find solutions.
While her practice at the Edina law firm Olson, Redford & Wahlberg is litigation and transactional, she also advocates for mediated solutions.
Her experience allows her to advise clients what to expect from the process and encourage solutions.
It also allows her to help other attorneys with some practice pointers. The first and foremost is letting clients know what to expect.
The second is to be prepared and bring all the information you need with you.
Next, have everybody at the table. “We deal with a lot of access issues: Are there other municipalities? Do you have everybody so you can put together a settlement? If there are boundary issues, the mediation may overlap with other professions, including surveyors, engineers and watershed district personnel,” she said.
Also, have everything you need to advocate with you. “Many times there are commonalities in terms of solutions, have some settlement language available,” Wahlberg said.
Having considered solutions, find out what documentation is needed and have it ready or provide it ahead of time.
Wahlberg said that just about any dispute is prime for mediation, so consider it in just about any case. “Sometimes the court will require it anyway, Early mediation may be scheduled. That may be a good fit for some cases; the parties can understand the lay of the land. Everyone should have a good understanding, get it all out there.”
There can be a formal or informal exchange of information, Wahlberg said. Early mediation is a good opportunity for a client to be heard by a neutral, she noted.
Also, clients need to be prepared for the process and to have thought about where there is room to negotiate. Attorneys may need to be prepared with motivations, solutions, and different elements that would provide value and help people arrive at a consensus, she said.