More and more often lawyers find themselves mediating with opposing counsel with whom they have no previous experience. So, as part of your preparation, find out what you can from colleagues and from the internet about the tendencies of your opponents. Do they settle cases or prefer to try them? How many cases have they actually tried? Are they hard-nosed negotiators? Are they usually open to a reasonable settlement? What is their usual compensation arrangement with their clients? Whatever you learn about them will help you formulate your own negotiating strategy.