Figure 1: Mediator at Work.
Advantages of Mediation:
Mediation allows the parties to tailor their resolution of the dispute much more flexible than a court judgment or an arbitration award can do. A mediated agreement can include relief a court would never order, in return for a reduction in the amount of money to be paid that neither a court nor an arbitrator would order.
Mediations reduce the roller coaster emotions of litigation in court or arbitration and allow the parties to agree on a custom-made solution that puts the dispute behind them and allows them to get on with their businesses and lives.
Mediations are confidential. Reporters do not have a place at the table.
Qualities Needed in a Successful Mediator
A good mediator should understand the law, understand the realities of the kind of litigation in question, be able to understand the positions, motivations, and needs of both sides, be able to translate them into terms the other side can understand, be able to administer reality checks when needed, be able to think “outside the box,” and be able to think of ideas that have not yet occurred to the parties but may unlock the door to a resolution.
A good mediator should also keep at it if the matter does not resolve at the end of a session.
My Approach to Mediation:
I have no one approach, because different cases, different types of cases, different case histories, different attorneys, and different parties all require a tailored approach. What works with sophisticated parties and collegial counsel will not work if one or both sides do not fit that description.
If no agreement is reached on the day of mediation, I keep at it. No one can guarantee that every case will settle, but I will spend real effort to try to make it happen.
I will mediate anywhere, except the few remaining States where it would be the unauthorized practice of law. Even there, I can mediate if authorized by a court or agency.
Sometimes, the parties come to me in Washington, D.C.
In multi state class actions and collective actions, the location does not matter and parties routinely come to the mediator.
Rates and Cancellation Fees:
See the standard Agreement.
How to Start the Ball Rolling:
Both parties or one of them can contact me to find out my interest in mediating the matter at a particular location, giving me enough information so I can do a conflict check, and finding out my availability on the desired date(s).
Current Mediation Rosters:
- American Health Lawyers Association