Unlocking Success: Strategically Using Mediation Memos to Achieve Better Personal Injury Settlements

Mediation serves as a crucial stage in any personal injury case, offering a pathway to resolve disputes without the uncertainties and expenses of a trial; the strategic use of mediation memos is key to its success. This process not only expedites resolution but also allows all parties involved to move forward more quickly, reaching a settlement that avoids the lengthy duration of court proceedings. However, the success of mediation hinges significantly on thorough preparation, particularly the strategic use of mediation memos by both plaintiffs and defendants.

One often overlooked yet essential aspect of this preparation is for parties to proactively read and understand the mediation memos submitted by the opposing parties, particularly on the part of the plaintiff. This step goes beyond merely staying informed; it strategically arms parties with the knowledge needed to influence the outcome positively.

Understanding The Opponent’s Strategy: A Key to Success

Mediation memos shed light on the opposing side’s planned arguments and strategies. By engaging directly with this material, all parties can better anticipate and counter these arguments during mediation. Addressing key disagreements proactively and supporting responses with evidence can significantly enhance each party’s position.

What I find is that many plaintiffs encounter opposing viewpoints for the first time during mediation, leading to potential shock, frustration, or emotional reactions that could derail the proceedings. Prior review of these memos allows plaintiffs to process the information constructively, discuss strategies with their counsel, and develop a composed, effective response that could sway the opposing side.

Empowering Clients: Enhancing Plaintiff Involvement

Directly engaging with the opposing memos transforms plaintiffs from passive recipients into active participants in their legal journey. This deeper engagement not only bolsters their understanding of the legal landscape but also enriches their communication with their lawyers. For instance, a plaintiff who grasps the defence’s arguments can offer personal insights and crucial information that might otherwise be overlooked, leading to stronger advocacy and a more formidable negotiation stance.

Maximizing Mediation Efficiency

Mediation sessions are often constrained by time; much depends on the efficiency of the discussions. When clients arrive well-prepared, having familiarized themselves with the contents of the opposing memo, it eliminates the need for extensive overviews and allows for more in-depth negotiation discussions. Furthermore, when the opposing side knows their positions are understood, it can lead to a more direct and less contentious dialogue, focusing on finding resolution rather than clarifying positions.

Managing Emotional Responses

Personal injury cases are inherently charged with emotion. Encountering opposing viewpoints, particularly if they are perceived as unfair or inflammatory, can trigger strong emotional reactions. If a memo is especially provocative, it’s crucial for legal counsel to prepare their client ahead of the mediation. Discussing these points in a controlled setting helps clients, especially plaintiffs, process their emotions and approach mediation with a clear, focused mind.

Building Confidence Through Knowledge and Handling Inflammatory Content

Knowledge truly empowers. For both plaintiffs and defendants, a thorough understanding of the opposing memo not only builds confidence in handling negotiations but also helps maintain composure and assertiveness. Being well-informed enables all parties to anticipate potential challenges and devise appropriate responses, enhancing their presence during mediation and positively influencing the outcome.

In cases where the opposing memo contains particularly inflammatory or provocative content, it’s imperative for legal counsel to review these documents first and assess their impact. Preparing the client for what they will encounter and providing support helps prevent the mediation from devolving into emotional conflict, focusing instead on resolving the legal dispute. This preparation is especially crucial for plaintiffs, ensuring they approach the mediation with a clear and focused mind.

Assessing The Dollar Value: Strategic Use of Mediation Memos

An essential aspect of preparing for mediation involves accurately assessing the dollar value of the case. Mediation memos provide detailed insights into both the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing side’s position. By analyzing claimed damages, assessing liability arguments, and comparing settlement ranges, parties can establish a realistic settlement range. This proactive approach also involves identifying leverage points and preparing offers and counteroffers based on the insights gained, ensuring a well-informed and effective negotiation strategy.


The advantages of reading and understanding opposing memos before mediation are substantial for both plaintiffs and defendants. This proactive step prepares them to engage more effectively in their cases and transforms the mediation process into a more dynamic, efficient, and results-oriented endeavour. Personal injury lawyers should not only encourage this practice but also facilitate discussion and analysis sessions with their clients, ensuring that mediation serves as a powerful tool for achieving justice and closure in their cases.


Marshall Schnapp, Toronto / Mediator

Marshall Schnapp, Toronto / GTA Mediator

Marshall Schnapp, BA, JD, LLM (ADR) has been resolving disputes for over 10 years as a mediator and has extensive experience in adjudication as well. Clients consistently recommend Marshall for his friendly, determined attitude and practical expertise in resolving thousands of cases.

Get in touch with Marshall by email at marshall@schnappmediation.com or by telephone (647) 250-7216 today to set up a consultation, and see why he is the right mediator for your next file. For booking availability, please visit https://schnappmediation.com/calendar-2/ or contact Lacey Day at admin@schnappmediation.com or (647) 250-7216.