Our San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Mediation Problems
This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
Posted in News & Articles | Posted by: George Heppner - San Diego Personal Injury Attorney
One less expensive alternative to dispute resolution and trial is mediation, which is conducted by an independent third party, called a mediator. A mediator’s role is to facilitate communication between you and the other parties, assist you all in focusing on the issues in dispute, and to generate possible solutions that meet the needs and interests of everyone in an effort to resolve the dispute. Our San Diego personal injury lawyer knows how a mediator with poor techniques can cause settlement negotiations to break down rather than imparting possible and reasonable solutions.
Case Value Opinion
One of the worst mediating techniques is when mediators express their opinion as to the value of your case in front of all the parties. By doing so, the mediator undermines the purpose of mediation and a party’s ability to negotiate a reasonable settlement. For example, if the mediator opines that your case value is significantly less than your settlement demand or what your attorney recommended, then your injury attorney in San Diego must overcome the mediator’s opinion as well as the defense counsel and insurance company’s case assessment. The mediator’s opinion gives an illusion of confirming the other party’s position or, in this scenario, the defense’s assessment of your case value. This may result in the defense refusing to settle for anything more than their initial offer or the mediator’s opinion.
Damaging Your Position
Some mediators may degrade your position by pointing to flaws he or she believes exists in your case. The mediator may lecture that poor jury results have undermined other plaintiff’s settlement demands and push for you to decrease your settlement demand to something less than what you case is valued.
Disclosing Confidential Information
A San Diego personal injury lawyer has seen when it is beneficial to the mediators to know the maximum and minimum number you are willing to settle for. This information may help them work better and more successfully in finding an amicable resolution; however, this is confidential information that should not be revealed to the opposing party. Unfortunately, some mediators may disclose this information to the defendant, undermining your position and causing the break down of settlement negotiations.
Seek an Injury Attorney in San Diego
For more information regarding mediation, contact George Charles Heppner, a seasoned San Diego personal injury lawyer, at (888) 503-6473.