Search Site
Menu

What Are the Advantages of Mediation?

One of the best tools in a personal injury lawyer’s arsenal is mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is a voluntary process and non-binding. It is voluntary in the sense that both parties have to agree to attend. It is not final and binding as in the case of arbitration, yet another form of alternative dispute resolution. Rather, the two sides are brought together by a neutral third person, often but not necessarily a retired judge, who attempts to effectuate a settlement.

Most major cases are mediated. They can be brought to mediation at any point: before suit is filed, during the litigation, or on the eve of trial. I have seen an evolution in the effectiveness of mediation. When they started to occur with some frequency, approximately 25 years ago, I did not see the success that I have seen over, say, the last decade. Success is defined as having a case that resolves as a result of the mediation process. Many mediators will boast a success rate approaching, or even exceeding, 90%.

The people present at the mediation are the opposing lawyers, insurance claims people and the client. The attorney makes the presentation and the client will usually not be asked to say anything. In that sense, it is quite different from a trial. Indeed, there are no rules of evidence, no one is sworn in and the process is in general a lot less formal than a trial. But looks can be deceiving. While the process does not have the grandeur or formality of a trial, the result is very meaningful. If the mediation is successful, it will allow for the injured party to receive compensation.

After short introductory remarks by the mediator, the process starts with a presentation by me, the plaintiff’s attorney. (I will discuss the seriousness with which I approach a mediation in the next blog.) The defendant then makes its presentation. After that, the parties are separated, usually for the entire mediation. I sit with my clients while the defense attorney and insurance company are placed in a separate room. Throughout the course of the morning and afternoon, the mediator engages in “shuttle diplomacy”, going back and forth between the two rooms, all the while exchanging settlement figures. If the process works according to form, at the end of the day, or perhaps by telephone in a few weeks, the case is resolved.

As I say, years ago I was a skeptic where mediation was concerned. After all, the process is only as good as the money the insurance company brings to the table. Fortunately, I am seeing many instances where they are bringing a proper amount of money.

Arbitration is another alternative to the courtroom and really deserves consideration but that is a subject for another blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Feinberg & Alban, P.C. fervently protects your rights
  • The Boston firm of Feinberg & Alban, P.C. specializes its practice in the area of personal injury.

    The attorneys serve the entire state of Massachusetts in addition to affiliating with lawyers in other states to handle cases outside of Massachusetts.

  • $7.7 Million Award for Feinberg & Alban Client in Personal Injury Trial

    Boston Attorneys Win Highest Injury Verdict in Massachusetts in 2011 & 2012.

Client Reviews
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Attorney Colleen Santora, was a pleasure to work with throughout my personal injury case. She makes the process seamless for her clients and is there to answer any questions you have. She negotiated every aspect of my case and got me the settlement I...

    Read more

    Cody

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    We were very pleased with all aspects of this law firm! My husband was struck by a truck while crossing the street. We hired attorney Colleen Santora of Feinberg & Alban PC. Colleen immediately showed empathy towards my husbands condition, aside fro...

    Read more

    Cleopatra Anderson

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Attorney Colleen Santora assisted me after a terrifying highway incident. She came to my home because I was not able to travel, and she remained compassionate, professional, and highly competent throughout my case. I would highly recommend retaining...

    Read more

    Susan Hawes

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I had a difficult liability case that Marsha Alban handled on my behalf. I was extremely happy with Attorney Alban’s communication with me throughout the claim and especiathe resolution of my claim. I highly recommend this firm as they are up for ...

    Read more

    Client

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Alexis was a pleasure to work with. She kept me informed every step of the process and always looked out for my best interests. I would definitely recommend her.

    Read more

    Joel K

See all reviews
Awards & Affiliations
Contact us

Quick Contact Form