What is Mediation? Mediation is the discussion and negotiation of a case by parties exploring case resolution with a mediator or a neutral.
What is the alternative to mediation? Trial by jury or by judge alone is the traditional dispute resolution method. A litigation “scorched earth” policy feared by all these sides of these disputes is not quick and painless. It is usually the wrong approach unless spending enormous amounts of money and emotional capital is a goal. It does no good to prevail against your opponent if the costs of doing so approximate or exceed the amount in dispute. Not every case requires exhaustive or elaborate discovery, such as depositions, nor does every case require the utilization of a private investigator or summary judgment procedures. Some cases do, some do not; but all serious disputes need to be resolved. Sooner, rather than later!
What is a mediator and what is a mediator’s goal? A mediator’s goal is to help disputing parties arrive at an agreement. A mediator is a skilled neutral; someone vested in seeing the matter resolved by way of settlement. A mediator’s methodology ranges from the facilitative to the evaluative or judgmental ends of the spectrum. A skilled mediator does not impose the mediator’s views, particularly at the outset; a skilled mediator facilitates the parties’ examination of their own cases, their own exposures, risks and likely outcomes absent a settlement. A skilled mediator guides the parties towards consensus, letting the parties achieve settlement, reserving more evaluative comments for the end of a stymied mediation. Mediation offers the parties a great deal of control over the venue, the process, the timing, the expense and the final outcome. See Mediation Fees
When is the best time to mediate a dispute? Today! Cases never get easier or better for anyone! Alternative dispute resolution, mediation in particular, can be successfully accomplished pre-suit, during discovery, after discovery, just short of trial or at any other time during the pendency of a claim, even on appeal. This option should be discussed in full with your lawyer before decisions are made about discovery and motion practice. Your case resolution decision tree should have mediation at the top. It should have C2C ADR at the top too.
How long does it take to mediate a case? Disputing parties are just weeks away from case closure after their first phone call to C2C . A typical case is scheduled at the parties’ convenience, normally within thirty days of the request to mediate, and usually settled that mediation day. C2C ADR neutrals do not give up; they follow those few cases that fail to settle to continue exploring the best avenue with all parties to close the case by settlement.
Why does mediation work so well? Lawyers know that alternative dispute resolution is the most effective path to settlement to facilitate prompt and fair resolution. ADR is typically quicker, cheaper and less stressful than going to trial. It puts everyone in a room focused only on resolving one dispute and vests everyone with that goal. ADR gives the disputing parties greater control over the process and the outcome. Under the guidance of a skilled arbitrator or mediator, alternative dispute resolution can save significant time and money.
What is Arbitration? Arbitration is at the other end of the spectrum from mediation. Once the parties agree to arbitrate a matter, they have left the decision making in the hands of a third party, an arbitrator in a multi-arbitrator panel or three arbitrators. An arbitrator acts as a judge and jury, making findings of fact and rulings of law, and reading a decision. See Arbitration Fees
What is C2C ADR’s Quick Track? C2C’s EEE track is for cases with a loss or damage claim up to $35,000. It saves more money and more time than traditional mediation followed by an arbitration. EEE Track combines
- A focused morning mediation which, if unsuccessful in settling the case, is then followed by an afternoon arbitration that same day with the same neutral.
- The parties agree before the mediation to switch the mediation to a binding arbitration.
- The agreement authorizes and permits the same neutral then sitting in the afternoon as an arbitrator to rely on all that was said (argument) and presented (evidence) at the mediation as evidence or argument in the arbitration without needing to be re-submitted. Such material is taken during the mediation in effect as de bene evidence and the arbitrator may accept it as truthful, partially truthful, false, accurate or inaccurate, or as reliable or unreliable, as if submitted only at the arbitration. The arbitrator can accept it for that degree of persuasiveness that the neutral believes it to be entitled.
This C2C Expedited Consumer Case track permits the parties to settle the case incurring only the half day cost of a mediator. And it permits the parties alternatively to then promptly resolve the case by arbitration while everyone is focused and ready without having to engage a second neutral and adjourn to another time and place. It is cheaper and quicker. It is perfect for an amount in controversy under $35,000 but C2C will do this type of dispute resolution in any type of case by agreement.
It opens real dispute resolution to the parties in a smaller case. It is more practical. It permits the parties the freedom to settle or have a decision without breaking the bank. It also puts the “monkey on the backs of all parties” of a potential and imminent arbitration to take place immediately at the end of a failed mediation. The impetus to settle is self-imposed by this EEE dispute resolution track and the likelihood of settlement and certainly of resolution is substantially increased. This is the perfect method for resolving disputes between
- Consumers and businesses
- Landlords and tenants
- Distributors and business customers
- HOAs and owners
- Auto bodily injury cases and Accident cases
What is Neutral Evaluation? A neutral evaluation, like mediation, is non-binding but, in a sense, is a bit like arbitration if both parties agree to do it. Both parties submit materials simply by a representation of what each witness would say to the arbitrator and can actually submit testimony by deposition, affidavit or in person if credibility is thought to be an issue, and the neutral is then asked to evaluate the realistically likely outcomes. The parties and the evaluator can structure the process to their liking. The parties can request a suggested settlement figure, a range of numbers from least likely to most likely found, no commentary on liability or damages, or some commentary on liability and damages, as the parties choose.
What is a Mock Jury Trial? A mock jury can be conducted with six to twelve jurors to represent a typical jury panel with a one day, soup to nuts, presentation of each side’s case, followed by an hour or so of deliberation, a vote and a Q&A with the jurors and neutral who acts as a judge. This is a solid way for a plaintiff and defendant to test their case, see what holes might exist, what strengths exist and what the realistic outcome ranges are.
Who are the C2C ADR neutrals? C2C ADR neutrals are all certified and experienced as trial lawyers and neutrals in these substantive fields and in their CVs. They have sat waiting for jury verdicts and know what each case presents to the parties in the real world of case management and settlement. Every neutral should have sat waiting for juries to return verdicts in their cases many times before offering help in settlement to others. Our mediators and arbitrators have done that work repeatedly. They are acknowledged by their peers and judges with the highest Martindale Hubbell ratings and by their peers and the community as Super Lawyers. Their goals are simple: prompt and fair resolution of your disputes.
Email bobflynn@CoasttoCoastADR.com or call 619-786-7680 or 617-620-0224. Ask for Bob Flynn to discuss neutrals, scheduling and case resolution. C2C ADR can help you resolve your dispute by alternative means of dispute resolution and bring it to closure within weeks of your call.