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Commercial Mediation Part III: Preparation for Mediation

(296 Ratings)

Produced on: February 27, 2015

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 62 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

To paraphrase T.S. Eliot's East Coker, in our beginning is our end.  Preparation for the in person mediation session can greatly influence the way it proceeds and its potential for a satisfying resolution. 


Part III of Mr. Baum's eight-part Commercial Mediation course reviews the various critical ways in which the Mediator and the parties may prepare for a productive mediation session.  From mediator selection and disclosure, to the initial joint pre-mediation call, to mediation caucus calls, we examine a broad assortment of pre-mediation communications.  We also review essential elements of a useful pre-mediation statement and related exhibits.  Offering guidance to counsel on preparation of their parties, encouraging proper party attendance, designing an effective mediation process, preparing counsel for constructive opening statements and approaches to the process, and fostering exchange and development of key information are among the important steps in the pre-mediation phase.


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand how best to prepare for mediation 

II.    Handle pre-mediation selection discussions

III.   Initiate and conduct an effective Joint Pre-Mediation Conference Call

             a. Guide counsel on client preparation

             b. Master Pre-Mediation Statements and related submissions

             c. Foster development and disclosure of necessary information

             d. Get the right parties to the table

IV.   Conduct productive pre-mediation caucus calls

V.    Orient parties and counsel for constructive process

VI.   Ferret out emotional and negotiation obstacles and land mines

VII.  Design an appropriate mediation process

VIII. Get up to speed on information, interests, and issues

IX.   Develop a game plan while remaining open and appropriate



Simeon H. Baum

Resolve Mediation Services, Inc.

Simeon Baum, President of Resolve Mediation Services, Inc. (, has successfully mediated over 1,000 disputes. He has been active since 1992 as a neutral in dispute resolution, assuming the roles of mediator, neutral evaluator and arbitrator in a variety of cases, including the highly publicized mediation of the Studio Daniel Libeskind-Silverstein Properties dispute over architectural fees relating to the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, Trump’s $ 1 billion suit over the West Side Hudson River development, and Archie Comics’ shareholder/CEO dispute. He was selected for New York Magazine’s 2005 - 2014 “Best Lawyers” and “New York Super Lawyers” listings for ADR ( and Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” for ADR in New York for 2011 and 2014 ( for the International Who’s Who of Commercial Mediation Lawyers 2012-14.

An attorney, with 30 years’ experience as a litigator, Mr. Baum has served as a mediator or ADR neutral in a wide variety of matters involving claims concerning business disputes, financial services, securities industry disputes, reinsurance and insurance coverage, property damage and personal injury, malpractice, employment, ERISA benefits, accounting, civil rights, partnership, family business, real property, construction, surety bond defaults, unfair competition, fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy, intellectual property, 

Mr. Baum has a longstanding involvement in Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR"). He has served as a neutral for the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York Mediation Panels; New Jersey Superior Court, Civil Part, Statewide; Commercial Division, New York State Supreme Court, New York & Westchester Counties; U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern & Eastern Districts of New York; the New York Stock Exchange; National Association of Securities Dealers; the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and CPR, and National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN), among others. 

Mr. Baum’s peers have appointed him to many key posts: e.g., Member, ADR Advisory Group, Commercial Division, Supreme Court, New York County; ADR Advisory Group and Mediation Ethics Advisory Committee, N.Y. State Unified Court System. Founding Chair of the N.Y. State Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section, he was also subcommittee chair of the N.Y. State Bar Association’s ADR Committee; Legislative Tracking Subcommittee Chair of the ADR Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association; Charter Member, ABA Dispute Resolution Section Corporate Liaison Committee; President, Federal Bar Association’s SDNY Chapter, and Chair of the FBA’s national ADR Section. He is past Chair of the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) Committee on Arbitration and ADR. Besides serving on the NYCLA’s Committee on Committees, he is past Chair of the Joint Committee on Fee Dispute and Conciliation (of NYCLA, ABC NY, and Bronx County Bar Associations), and is on the Board of Governors, NYS Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program. He is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is a Director for the New York NADN panel. 

Mr. Baum has shared his enthusiasm for ADR through teaching, training, extensive writing and public speaking. He has taught ADR at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Development, and he teaches Negotiation, and Processes of Dispute Resolution (focusing on Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration) at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He developed and conducts 3-day programs training mediators for the Commercial Division, Supreme Court, New York, Queens, and Westchester Counties. He has been a panelist, presenter and facilitator for numerous programs on mediation, arbitration, and ADR for Judges, attorneys, and other professionals. Mr. Baum is a graduate of Colgate University and the Fordham University School of Law.


Lee H.

Excellent discussion of preparation for mediation, both by the mediator and the attorneys for the parties!!! Probably the most important part of mediation in order to settle the dispute!!!

D. Larry G.

So worthwhile following the mediation process. Thank you.

Stephanie O.

Very practical. Well organized with many helpful tips.

Merrick W.


Kenneth W.

Useful and practical content, very good presentation.

Judith P.

Mr. Baum is personable and an effective communicator with this material. Slides were especially informative, but by my count the 15 slides at the end were not coveed. Maybe they are in the next session.

Terence S.

content was very good, but would have been even better without use of coarse slang on a few occasions

Jennie H.

I was interrupted for 15 minutes due to the power coming back on at my house- ice storm in NC) and plan to watch what I missed on line next week so that I will have watched it in its entirety.

Miranda M.

Loved it. Hated that I missed the first two. When it was over, I was stunned and said, "what? It's over already?" For once, I had not been watching the clock!

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