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 mediator’s 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.
The mediator is a facilitator without the power to order a final resolution of the dispute. The mediator assists the parties to fashion their own resolution as they move through the process. The cost of mediation is the fee charged by the mediator for his/her time. This charge is far less than the cost of litigation through a lawsuit.
The mediation process is confidential. What is said in opening sessions or in closed sessions with the mediator is confidential unless disclosure is authorized by the party. No witnesses are presented at the mediation. The information at the mediation is based on the discovery taken in litigation thus far. If the dispute is pending in court, the judge will have no knowledge of what took place during the mediation. The judge will only be informed of whether the dispute was resolved or not.
Mediations can be scheduled much sooner than a trial leading to the potential of a quicker resolution. If held early in the dispute, the cost of litigation (e.g. depositions, expert witnesses and investigations) can be saved resulting in cases, involving money damages, to receive a larger net recovery. If the mediation is unsuccessful, the litigation can continue toward trial without an impediment. Mediations which are unsuccessful initially, often result in settlement later in the litigation procedure.
My experience in the practice of law has been primarily as a civil trial lawyer, practicing cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, defective products, premises liability, motor vehicle and trucking collisions, estate disputes, real estate issues and medical negligence. I have had the relatively rare experience of representing both plaintiffs and defendants in these matters. I have also litigated contract and commercial disputes, business related issues, and probate matters. Through that experience, I believe that I can bring a singularly, unique perspective to every civil dispute in these areas to assist in reaching a resolution. It is for these reasons that I have established a mediation practice.