Inside the Caucus: An Empirical Analysis of Mediation from Within

30 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2015

See all articles by Daniel M. Klerman

Daniel M. Klerman

University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Lisa Klerman

USC Gould School of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2015

Abstract

This article provides a glimpse into the worlds of mediation and settlement negotiation. Because they are almost always private, there has been relatively little empirical analysis of the dynamics of settlement or mediation. This article analyzes a unique data set derived from a mediator's contemporaneous notes of mediations involving employment disputes, such as claims of discrimination or wrongful termination. Although the data set includes more than 400 cases, since they were all mediated by a single mediator, this article can be viewed as a case study. Among the most interesting facts uncovered by this analysis are the following. Mediation can be extremely effective in facilitating settlement. The mediator studied here achieved a settlement rate of over 94 percent. There are very few gender differences, whether one looks at the gender of the plaintiff or the gender of the lawyers. For example, settlement rates are the same for male and female plaintiffs and lawyers. On average, cases settle much closer to the defendant's first offer than the plaintiff's, irrespective of case type, size of law firm, or other factors. A mediator's proposal appears to be the most effective mediation technique. A mediator's proposal was used in almost 90 percent of cases and, when it was used, the settlement rate was over 99 percent.

Suggested Citation

Klerman, Daniel M. and Klerman, Lisa, Inside the Caucus: An Empirical Analysis of Mediation from Within (December 2015). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 12, Issue 4, pp. 686-715, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2681425 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jels.12089

Daniel M. Klerman (Contact Author)

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-7973 (Phone)
213-740-5502 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://weblaw.usc.edu/contact/contactInfo.cfm?detailID=227

Lisa Klerman

USC Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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