Perhaps it has been your experience that you have one mediation session, and you do not hear from the mediator again if the case does not settle. It has always been my practice to remain involved with the case until it is settled, or tried - without any additional fees. This means that you can use the mediator as a sounding board for theories, or evidence considerations, even possible rulings on evidence.
With the latest revisions to the rules, there are a new variety of disputes that have arisen regarding disclosures. Added to the historical disputes that arise, it is not clear that discovery has become any easier. Perhaps using the mediator to work through these problems before taking them to the judge could save a lot of time and effort. With increasing frequency, these matters get referred to a Master, and often the dispute is heard again before the Judge. With a Mediator who is devoting more time to the case, you might have more success in resolving these disputes through agreement. If not, you have a much better understanding of the arguments so that Court time is reduced.
Everyone has heard horror stories about how juries treat cases. Frequently as lawyer, we are more focused on the minute facts and issues that seem important under the law as we understand it. Jurors though see things a lot different. On-going use of the Mediator might assist you in simplifying your case and strengthen it with the right facts and cases.
Who Is That Anyway?So you've gotten an order from the Court sending you to mediation, and appointing a Mediator. How was that Mediator selected? Is this the best Mediator for your case?
By statute, to be a mediator a person needs 40 hours of training or be otherwise qualified. Is that really whom you want to trust your case to? Do you really need to leave that to chance?
You should not have to take chances. It's your case, and there are things you can do to control the disposition of it. Check out your Mediator's qualifications. Ask questions about their training. You likely wouldn't let someone just out of law school go try an important case. The Mediation should be no different.
Look for someone who can understand the nature of your dispute, the procedural and evidentiary technicalities, and who knows how to talk to litigants in a manner that brings results.
A Mediator You Can UseSo what kind of experience do I bring to your Mediation?
- First Chair Trial Responsibility for Trials and Arbitration.
I have represented parties at all levels of the court system, and in all economic levels. These experiences have involved responsibility for and active participation in trial, and all phases of discovery and case management.
- Drafting of Agreements.
I have drafted leases and agreements for developers, contractors, hospitals, medical care organizations, insurance operations, software developers, Internet service providers and other businesses.
- Regulatory Compliance.
I have worked for regulators and with regulated industries, and understand the importance of compliance with regulations, and the nuances of regulatory systems. Additionally, I have been involved in the drafting of legislation, regulations, and challenges to them.
- Asset Management.
I supervised a team of professional asset managers, making recommendations to and decisions for a client with holdings in excess of $4 billion.
- Business Management and Development.
I have been a partner in law firms, some of them start-up businesses, and have learned the needs of a business, how to address those needs, and to make decisions to responsibly steward the affairs and resources of those operations.
I was a member of the original group of lawyers trained by the Dallas Bar Association in 1989 as Mediators. I have mediated approximately 150 cases of all types.
Special points of interest
- Include Mediation Clauses in Contracts
- Think Mediation at the start of the Case
- Agree to Mediation before an Order
- Know the Mediator's abilities
- Qualified Mediator
- Adequate Time
- Privileged Matters
- Authority of Representatives
- Key Documents
- Key Case Law/Statute