The P's of Professionalism in a Productive Mediation

As a featured speaker at the 36th annual Insurance Law Institute, Mediator & Arbitrator Jennifer Grippa shared four critical elements of professionalism for attorneys who want to achieve effective mediation outcomes.

Georgia Supreme Court Supreme
Court Code of Professional Responsibility:

(b) To model for others, and particularly for my clients, the respect due to those we call upon to resolve our disputes and the regard due to all participants in our dispute resolution process.

1. Perspective

Good Faith

  • Put aside stereotypes and prejudgments
  • Own your risk
  • Make a true effort to build trust with the other side
  • Talk less and listen more
  • Admit you can’t predict the outcome
  • Remember your audience
  • Do what you say you’re going to do
  • Share damages documentation in advance
  • Avoid retreating from pre-mediation offers
  • Communicate non-starters in advance

 2. Preparation

  • Prepare as you would for a hearing
  • Know the facts
  • Bring all documents
  • Be prepared to discuss legal issues
  • Bring your “smoking gun”
  • Set reasonable expectations

3. Patience/Perseverance

  • Refrain from acts of impatience
  • Act as you would in court
  • Set client expectations
  • Explain that incremental progress is the norm
  • It is not how the mediation starts, but how it is finished that matters

4. Partnership

  • Partner with your mediator
  • Be honest about client control issues
  • Communicate specific expectations — let the mediator communicate those at the right time and in the best way
  • Give your mediator due regard


Jennifer Grippa, Esq. is a mediator and arbitrator with Miles in Atlanta.  She has over 16 years of litigation experience, specializing in construction law. To schedule a mediation or arbitration with Jennifer, please call 678-320-9118 or visit her online calendar.