Graves Garrett Greim partner Nathan Garrett continues to build a trusted reputation as a certified mediator, available to help resolve complex litigious matters through his objective and reasoned approach to understanding the full range of considerations related to dispute resolution and helping craft creative and lasting outcomes.

Nathan’s diverse and crisis-oriented fifteen years of public service, including as a state trooper, FBI special agent, state and federal prosecutor, and Kansas City police commissioner have all contributed to his past fifteen years of private practice representing individual and corporate clients in need of a steady and experienced voice while facing threatening and complex litigation and risks. Nathan regularly achieves successful outcomes across a full range of matters, from federal-based private and government initiated commercial and civil litigation to high-stakes federal and state criminal and regulatory investigations and prosecutions that jeopardize the whole of a business’s or individual’s future.

Nathan’s work has been on behalf of both defendants and plaintiffs, making him an ideal resource to parties from any perspective looking to seize the benefits of mediation.

Nathan has completed the University of Missouri School of Law’s mediator training and certification course, qualifying him for the Missouri Supreme Court’s roster of neutral mediators and for inclusion on the approved lists of the U.S. District Courts for the Western District of Missouri and District of Kansas.

The Benefits of Mediation

In essence, mediation is a process wherein the parties in a legal dispute meet with a mutually selected impartial and neutral person who assists them in the negotiation of their differences. While the mediator may express his or her judgment on the case’s merits in an appropriate way at an appropriate time, a mediator cannot impose his or her own judgment on the contested issues in the matter.

There are several reasons to engage in mediation, including:

  • Saves money on litigation expenses.
  • Higher satisfaction among all parties.
  • Greater sense of justice and control over an outcome.
  • Confidential process.
  • Helps preserve relationships between parties and return them to more productive efforts.

How Mediation Works


All parties should be properly prepared for what the mediation process entails in order to manage expectations and arrive at the best possible outcome for all parties. Counsel should walk their client through the process and explain the nature of mediation, particularly why and how mediation is different from trial. It’s imperative that clients understand the strengths and weaknesses of the case, including downsides, risks, uncertainties, and substantial costs of continuing litigation.

Mediator Relationship

The client should interact with the mediator as more confidant than an adversary they must persuade. The mediator should evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the client’s case objectively and discuss with the client the most likely range of a jury’s verdict in the case as well as what conclusions the judge is most likely to make.

Mediation Process

The parties involved will choose where the mediation process will take place. Studies show that, often, a neutral site is preferable. Once mediation begins, all participants meet at the chosen location in a joint session. All parties will be present, as well as counsel. Typically, an insurance representative will also be present and/or an owner or manager of a business, depending on the case type.

First, the session will begin with all parties signing a Mediation Agreement. Then, after receiving opening comments by the mediator, the parties may proceed immediately to caucusing, or each party may make an opening statement, depending on the most productive style of mediation for the given case. This will be determined in consultation with counsel prior to the mediation.

After the joint session, the mediator meets privately with both sides in separate meetings or caucuses. In these confidential sessions, the mediator discusses the case with counsel and the parties, assesses the risks of the case, and considers the best and worst outcomes, the quality of the evidence, the costs of litigation, and other factors. The mediator will explore possible settlements and will likely go back and forth between the parties to explore possible, and often creative, settlements. When the parties reach a settlement, it will be outlined in a written agreement, as required by Missouri law.

While most cases do settle at the mediation, if the case does not, the mediator will conduct follow-up sessions by phone/email until they have made all reasonable efforts to resolve the case. If needed, the parties will schedule additional in-person sessions until an agreement is reached. Good mediators do not consider their efforts exhausted at the end of an opening session. More often, outcomes are achieved by relentless effort.