There must be a
realistic evaluation of the most probable outcome of
the dispute if it is not settled in mediation. The
negotiations must continue until such time as each
side has put their best offer on the table. Without
these two things happening, the chances of settlement
are significantly reduced.
In order to obtain a "realistic" evaluation of the
most probable outcome, there must be a full discussion
of the issues, preferably in an joint session, where
all parties are present and exposed to the other
side's point of view. This helps educate the parties
and gives them a more realistic view of the dispute.
joint discussion often provides the parties with a
realistic understanding of the issues in dispute and
the intensity of the opposing parties position. By
directly observing the other party's reaction to
factual and legal theories, the parties begin to
understand the chances of persuading the other side as
to the validity of their own position.