By Matthew Kavanagh, Schiller Law Offices LLC
In order to conduct and participate in a successful mediation, there are two things you can do to prepare that will increase the likelihood of a successful result for you and your client. These pre-mediation steps, if not considered, can throw off what would have otherwise been a successful mediation.
First, confirm the last offer and demand with opposing counsel. Sometimes, particularly for attorneys who handle cases after suit was filed, there were pre-litigation settlement negotiations that were discussed between the pre-suit attorney and pre-suit adjuster. Many times, the new adjuster handling the case, either currently or incorrectly, presumes that the last demand made by the plaintiff is the same demand that the plaintiff will start with at mediation. Again, sometimes this is correct and sometimes it is incorrect depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the case. This also applies vice versa.
Second, confirm that the defendant has all of the medical records and medical bills in their possession that the plaintiff is claiming is related to their injury. Many times, a defendant and their insurance company adjuster need at least 30 days to appropriately review and evaluate any medical records and bills that are related to a plaintiff’s claim. Although most of the time the defendant has this information long before mediation is scheduled. It is important to confirm this with the defendant and/or adjuster, at the very least, 30 days before the mediation.
Following these two pre-mediation steps in personal injury cases can greatly improve your client’s chances of resolving their case at mediation.
If you would like to submit content or write an artilcle for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, please email Karam Sikorski at email@example.com.