We recently settled a Bronx automobile injury in a 3 hour mediation before a private mediator.
Mediation is an effective method of settling cases. We have been using it for years. See our prior post on mediation here.
Mediation is a settlement negotiation session. Although it can be done by a judge in court, generally, mediation is done by a private mediator hired by the parties. In California it is popularly known as “rent a judge.”
For over a decade, private mediation has grown because judges lack the time to settle a case at its early stages. In our experience, most judges will spend the time only after a jury is selected. In a mediation, the mediator will spend whatever time is necessary.
- In one of our larger cases the mediation lasted from 10 am to 5:30 pm. This was an accident case arising out of a Brooklyn construction accident.
- In another mediation, there were two sessions. At the first meeting, lasting 2 hours, the issues were reviewed and discussed. The mediator made a settlement recommendation to defendants. Defense counsel had to review the case further with their insurance carriers in order to get more money. We scheduled a second session, about 1 month later, when defense counsel obtained more settlement authority. At the second session the case was settled. This case involved a slip and fall at Fordham University in Bronx, New York.
If a case does not settle at the mediation, neither side is penalized. Generally, both sides are in a “settlement mode” when agreeing to mediation.
The parties must agree to a mediator. Generally, mediators are retired judges. However, some mediators are distinguished lawyers who have had track records as mediators. In all of the above examples we used lawyer-mediators. Mediators are hired through various private services, such as JAMS and National Arbitration and Mediation. Often, the service will also provide a meeting rooms or a suite of rooms at its offices. For example, in a mediation at JAMS, the service provided a conference room and a separate, private room for plaintiff and his attorneys.
If you have been involved in an accident involving serious injuries, please feel free to call us for a free consultation at 800-581-1434 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
Mark E. Seitelman, 3/25/10, www.seitelman.com.