I offer my services using both a facilitative and evaluative approach to matters before me. No one style or approach works all of the time and thus I change as needed. Of course, resolution can be obtained in various ways, so I am able to provide services as follows:
Mediation is the voluntary meeting of parties with (or without) their counsel, wherein the parties seek to resolve their claims via communications between them, sometimes face to face and sometimes solely through me. Normally, this procedure is not binding, so only if both sides agree to resolution on the same terms and conditions, is the matter resolved. If the mediation involves multiple parties, resolution may be between all parties or only a smaller set of them, notwithstanding the goal is resolution of all claims of all parties. As mediator, I make no decisions, only facilitate decision making by the parties.
In one option, called “binding mediation”, if the parties agree in advance and cannot reach an agreement by the end of the non-binding mediation process, I will decide all remaining issues and provide a written explanation of the decisions made by me.
See also: Last Chance Mediation
Arbitration is a lot like a trial, but often more informal. The matter before me will be decided based on the evidence the parties provide. If there are objections to any of the evidence, they will be ruled on. After all of the evidence (oral and documentary), and the arguments of counsel or the parties, I will provide a written ruling and the basis for it. Arbitrations can include those pursuant to a contractual agreement, including those from insurance policies, whether concerning Uninsured Motorist coverage or Underinsured Motorist coverage, or based on the agreement of the parties and/or their counsel.
Early Neutral Evaluator
An early neutral evaluation is done very soon after a claim or case has started. It can include all of the parties or potential parties, or just one. The goal is to discuss the claim or case and determine the best, most efficient and often economical way to reach a later resolution. As the neutral evaluator, my goal is to provide my thoughts on possible success of the case or claim based on the information provided including possible results, costs, alternatives to the public court system, and other possible alternative resolution avenues. I do not decide anything, but use my over 30 years of litigation experience to give early feedback on the case or claims before extensive costs, time and effort are expended.
Often discovery issues concerning privileges, privacy, etc. occur and the assigned trial judge just does not have the time or desire to resolve the issues in play. This occurs due to the number of documents or the need for extensive time and effort that has to be expended to resolve the issues. I offer this service, so that these discovery issues can be resolved sooner than later, with the time needed to evaluate the claims being made and then to allow the parties to move forward with the litigation.
A more open category of services, often not related to specific litigation or pre-litigation, where two or more “sides” are not getting along or just have a dispute of some kind that needs help to resolve. My services could be to assist and be responsible for determining the overall structure of a large case moving through various phases of discovery, mini-trials/arbitrations, mediations, etc. Just ask and I will see what I can do.