Certified Legal Mediator
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About Bixler Howland
I am an actively practicing attorney licensed to practice law in Indiana and Kentucky. I am also a mediator certified by the Indiana Mediation Registry to conduct meditations involving civil matters including, personal injury, wrongful death, premises liability, motor vehicle and…
Is Mediation the Answer?
Mediation is a process in which parties attempt to resolve their dispute with the assistance of an impartial, third-party person who has been trained in dispute resolution. The process is typically an informal meeting held in the office of one of the attorneys representing a party or in a neutral site, such as the mediation office. The parties have either agreed to mediate to avoid the cost of litigation or they have been ordered by the court in which the dispute is pending, to engage in the mediation process.
Mediation Services Available in Kentucky and Indiana
Distinguished Member: Association of Attorney-Mediators
Personal Injury Mediation
I have litigated cases involving injuries and death of individuals from a multitude of causes. One of the advantages I believe I have in serving as a mediator in a personal injury case is that I still litigate those cases on a daily basis. I understand what verdicts juries are returning. I understand the cost of taking the depositions of doctors and other experts needed for a trial. I understand the demands of medical insurance companies and Medicare for the return of the monies they have paid for medical expenses in the event of a settlement or verdict. I believe my willingness to stand in front of a jury and advocate on my client’s behalf, as well as forty-three years of trial experience representing both sides of disputes, gives me a unique perspective which I use as a mediator.
Real Estate Mediation
As part of my litigation practice, I have handled a wide range of real estate disputes including adverse possession, leaking swimming pools, allegations of failure to disclose known defects in a real estate sale, boundary disputes, building defects, insurance claims for damage to real estate and personal property and breach of real estate leases and building contracts, to name a few. I have served as a mediator in these types of cases. I believe my litigation experience, again in representing both sides of the controversies, gives me the ability to suggest creative resolutions to seemingly unsolvable issues.
Contract Dispute Mediation
One of my favorite courses in law school was “Contracts”. I had one of the hardest professors at the school for this course but I believe I learned the subject well. One of the services I have offered in my career has been contract drafting. I have had to litigate contracts I have drafted (successfully I should add) and I have been involved in a variety of litigated matters involving business contracts, personal services contracts and employment contracts. I believe that this experience helps me to assist parties in order to reach reasonable resolutions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many mediations do you schedule per day?
I am committed to giving each and every mediation case my full and undivided attention therefore I only schedule one mediation per day.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation cost are substantially less expensive than the cost of taking a case to court to be decided. While other less experienced mediation lawyers are charging fees as high as $400 an hour, you will find working with a certified mediator beneficial and my fees much more affordable at only $250.00 an hour if at your location. If you wish to use my office space for your mediation, my rate for mediations is $300.00 per hour.
How long does a mediation last?
Mediation sessions vary in length of time depending on the number of participants and the complexity of the issues. Most two-party mediations last an average of four to six hours. Multi-party mediation sessions with complex issues can last entire days or can be spread over multiple days. For these reasons and because it is difficult to determine at the outset how long a mediation will last, I only schedule one mediation a day. My goal is to get the matter resolved.
Do you conduct opening sessions?
It is my experience that an opening session, in most instances, is helpful to all parties. If the case is in litigation, the parties are going to hear the the perspective of the opposing party/parties at a trial, if the case doesn’t settle, so I believe it is best to get the strengths and weaknesses of each side of the dispute on the table. I have experienced parties hearing about a critical issue or a pertinent fact for the first time in the opening session which may change their entire view of the case. Obviously, if there is animosity between the parties and being in the same room with the opposition would simply increase tension, I will dispense with the opening session. I try to find out about such circumstances, where appropriate, in pre-mediation contacts with the attorneys for the parties.
Do you contact the opposing lawyers before the mediation?
As my engagement letter (attached above under “Mediation Documents”) indicates, I request a confidential submission from each party before the mediation session so that I am prepared with the critical facts of the case and the position of each party. If those submissions raise questions for me or indicate a need to discuss the case further with the parties before the mediation, I will contact the attorney for the parties. In those conversations, I may learn that an opening session may be counterproductive or that there are other logistical issues. Any such conversations are confidential.
Do you follow up with the parties after an unsuccessful mediation session?
In the event a settlement or resolution cannot be reached in the initial mediation session but the parties feel there is still a possibility of settlement, I will contact the parties to determine if my help would be useful in furthering negotiations. My goal is again to get each case resolved, regardless of how long it may take.