Mediation is a flexible process in which an impartial individual assists the parties to reach a voluntary settlement. The parties themselves decide to settle. The mediator does not dictate the result. The parties are not represented by the mediator. Instead, the mediator, through facilitative and evaluative approaches which best fit a particular case, strives to enable the parties to achieve an acceptable resolution of their dispute.
I will work with you as best I can to set up and realize a successful mediation. Communication is key. In general, I look forward to a frank and productive pre-mediation conference with the parties’ counsel, or the parties, usually by telephone, and to possibly engage in other pre-mediation discussions.
I will certainly be fully prepared for all mediation sessions. I will expect to receive before the mediation a summary from each party which advances the party’s best case. A party should, however, acknowledge in the summary any problems or weaknesses. I will allow submission of a separate confidential statement along with the mediation summary. I will seek to assure that all persons essential for a successful mediation are present or involved, including lien holders, that the parties come to the mediation with draft settlement agreements and releases, and that we have appropriate facilities.
Mediation is not easy. It requires willingness to compromise. It is a process which at times is frustrating, indeed painful. Success in mediation, however, reflects the parties’ ability to fashion a resolution themselves, one they may be better able to live with, and abide by, than something imposed by a court.
Arbitration is a form of ADR, or alternative dispute resolution, in which the parties proceed to resolve their dispute privately. It is generally a process which results in a binding decision by the arbitrator, which may be confirmed through the court and ultimately enforced as a judgment. An arbitration proceeding may take place before any action in court, and constitutes a less formal, less costly and quicker resolution process. An appeal of an arbitration award is generally subject to limited court review.
As a judge, I handled and resolved many non-jury civil cases of all sorts over the years; as a lawyer I served as an arbitrator dealing with a range of matters, and, of course, as counsel for a party.
I look forward to working with you to achieve a just resolution of the case you present. I will work with you through a telephonic structuring conference, as well as through other needed communications, to address all pre-hearing issues, including discovery matters. I will always proceed with the goal of keeping the proceedings quick, efficient and as inexpensive as possible.