The Pitfalls of Over-Requesting in Mediation: How it Can Hamper the Success Rate

Mediation is an excellent alternative to litigation as a means of resolving disputes. In mediation, parties work towards reaching a mutually acceptable agreement through negotiation. However, the success rate of mediation heavily depends on how parties approach the process. One of the most important factors that can affect the success rate is the amount that is requested. In this article, we will explore why over-requesting in mediation can hamper the success rate.

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The Effect of Over-Requesting

Over-requesting is the act of asking for an excessive amount in mediation. This can significantly reduce the chance of success in mediation. The following are some effects of over-requesting:

  • Rejection: Over-requesting can make the other party reject your proposal outright, leading to a complete breakdown in negotiations.
  • Impasse: When one party over-requests, the other party may respond with an unreasonable counteroffer, leading to an impasse in negotiations.
  • Prolonged Litigation: If mediation fails, the parties may resort to litigation, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Factors to Consider When Requesting

When requesting compensation in mediation, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

  • Economic Losses: Economic losses include any financial losses that the injured party has suffered. This includes lost wages, medical expenses, and any other costs associated with the incident.
  • Emotional Distress: Emotional distress can be a significant factor when considering compensation. Parties should consider any emotional harm caused by the incident and request compensation accordingly.
  • Future Losses: In some cases, an incident may cause future losses that the injured party needs to factor in when requesting compensation.

Negotiating in Mediation

One of the keys to successful mediation is effective negotiation. Parties should approach negotiation with a clear understanding of their goals and be willing to make concessions to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. When negotiating, parties should consider the following:

  • Be Realistic: Parties should be realistic about their expectations and avoid over-requesting.
  • Be Flexible: Parties should be flexible and open to making concessions to reach a settlement.
  • Find Common Ground: Parties should look for common ground to find a mutually acceptable agreement.


In conclusion, over-requesting in mediation can significantly reduce the chance of success. When requesting compensation, parties should consider factors such as economic losses, emotional distress, and future losses. Effective negotiation is critical to the success of mediation. Parties should be realistic, flexible, and work towards finding common ground. By following these guidelines, parties can increase their chances of success in mediation.

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