Both parties have agreed to negotiate, and you have prepared for your mediation. Time for action!
Prior to the mediation, First Court sends each side a personalized link to a Settlement Testing session.This is our patent pending online, double-blind negotiating platform, where the parties come together for 18 minutes of intense negotiation.
Rather than showing the other side your numbers, our proprietary algorithms compare the numbers from each side, and indicate the size of the remaining gap as a temperature on a thermometer. The warmer the temperature, the closer you are to settlement. The key here is for both parties to test their very best number by the end of the 18 minutes, knowing that there is no downside since their numbers remain confidential. You send numbers back and forth rapid fire, and close in on a settlement as the temperature rises.
A warm temperature indicates that the parties are very close and can easily reach a settlement. A colder temperature can mean a couple of things:
- One or both parties did not truly test their best number (Unfortunate because this just means for wasted time for everyone... but usually solved in our followup conference call).
- There is missing information, resulting in differing evaluations (Again, usually solved during our followup conference call).
- There is a fundamental disagreement over how a jury is likely to evaluate (We will typically propose a focus group to help both sides see more objectively).
- There is a genuine impasse (Rare, but still valuable since you only invested one hour to confirm that you need to make the investment to prepare for trial).
Once your 18 minutes of testing are complete, we use the remainder of the hour to host a conference call with the negotiators from both sides, facilitated by a First Court neutral. This call can be used to either help negotiate the remaining gap, or to agree on a Closure Plan for solving the issues that are preventing a resolution (as needed).
We try to respect everyone's time and wrap up by the end of the hour. Ideally you will leave the mediation with a settlement, but if there is an issue preventing resolution, First Court will propose a closure plan at the end of the mediation.