Mediation Strategies: What Plaintiffs Really Want

Jim Bleeke, an Indianapolis defense attorney, has authored an interesting articlesetting forth his views as to the motivating factors that influence plaintiffs, from the obvious to the sublime.
Here's his list:
1. Money!
2. Being Heard
3. Getting An Explanation of What Happened and Why
4. Vindication
5. Helping Future Individuals Avoid the Same Fate
6. Punishment/Revenge
7. Teaching the Defendant a Lesson
8. Assuaging Personal Guilt
9. Wanting the Whole Thing to Be Over
10. Avoiding Trial
Bleeke emphasizes active listening and reframing of plaintiff's position statements during the joint session as helpful in persuading the plaintiff's team that the defense really "gets" their point of view, and as a basis to request reciprocal treatment as the defense is presented.
It seems that the checklist could serve as a valuable tool in crafting opening remarks designed to address as many of these interests as possible.

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