When Should Parties Attempt Mediation

It is a well-known fact that trials are expensive in terms of both time and money. That point holds true for both the plaintiff and the defendant in a civil suit. While there are times where a jury trial is simply unavoidable, parties involved in disputes in Kansas and Missouri are increasingly looking to a little-known option: Mediation. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the mediation process and discuss some circumstances in which mediation may be the best option in your case.

When Should Parties Attempt Mediation

As one of Kansas City’s most experienced personal injury law practices, The Popham Law Firm offers mediation services for attorneys across Kansas and Missouri. Our long experience in medical malpractice, personal injury, and employment cases makes us the perfect third-party mediator for a variety of legal disputes. If you wish to explore how mediation can work for you, you can contact us at (844) 243-2288 or through our website.

What is Mediation?

Simply put, mediation is the process of resolving a dispute outside of the courtroom with the help of trained, third-party mediator. The best mediators are those who are attorneys with a long history of successful practice in the area of law that is at issue. The mediation process is entirely voluntary and can end at any time, whether or not an actual lawsuit has been filed. If you wish to go to court you certainly can; there is nothing about the mediation process that takes away your Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial.The mediation process typically begins with the mediator explaining the “rules of the road.” Each party signs a mediation agreement, and then the discussions get underway. The power of the mediation process is that it gets the parties and their attorneys in the same room. Since Kansas and Missouri personal injury, medical malpractice, and employment dispute cases often involve strong emotions and compelling stories, there can be a real benefit to having the parties face-to-face in order to enhance their understanding of the issues. At an appropriate point, settlement negotiations begin, and the parties work through a facilitated process to arrive at a proper amount.

When to Consider Mediation

Mediation can often be a faster, cheaper way to get the results you want from your Kansas or Missouri personal injury, medical malpractice, or employment case. The facilitated negotiations that characterize the mediation process aren’t appropriate in all circumstances, but here are some instances in which The Popham Law Firm recommends that you explore the possibility:1. The court is experiencing a backlog of cases or the attorney judges that the court will likely request that the parties attempt a mediated settlement.In our society, the courts have become very busy indeed. If your case goes to trial, you could incur a long wait—to say nothing of the delaying tactics that may be employed by the other side to move the court date further into the future. Compared to a jury trial, mediation is something that can be done very quickly.2. If the dispute is several months old or if the other side is not responding to requests for information.If the attorneys representing both sides of the dispute have reached an impasse in informally discussing a settlement, or if one side or the other is not being forthcoming with information, getting both parties face-to-face with the help of a mediator can help in reaching a rapid conclusion.3. A lawsuit has been threatened or has just been filed with the court, or if negotiations have failed to produce the desired results.If a new suit has been filed, has been threatened, or is judged to be imminent, mediation can be a powerful tool to heading off the additional expenses associated with litigation. In cases where negotiations have failed, a trained third- party mediator provided by an experienced practice like The Popham Firm can be helpful in breaking the deadlock. Additionally, mediation may save you substantial money spent on discovery costs.4. An insurance company expresses a desire to close a case quickly, or if one party to the dispute expresses a willingness to settle out of court.Insurance companies are in business to make money, and extended litigation can get very expensive. When dealing with an insurance adjuster or a party who wants to avoid protracted litigation, mediation can be a great avenue to getting what you want from the case without the time and financial resources required for a jury trial.5. If Confidentiality is important to one or both of the parties in the dispute, or if maintaining a good relationship between the parties is essential.The mediation process is confidential. There is no court reporter to take the transcript of the proceedings, and the rules of evidence that are used in the courtroom usually don’t apply. Kansas and Missouri courts (with some exceptions) look at these sorts of settlement conversation as privileged. If preserving the reputation of the plaintiff or defendant is essential, mediation is an excellent option.6. If one or both of the parties to the dispute are emotional, or if they have unrealistic expectations.Emotions run high in civil suits of all types. The mediation process can serve to educate the parties about the realities that litigation entails. Often, having the opportunity to vent in a facilitated environment can bring the parties into an emotional state where real settlement negotiations become possible.These are just some of the instances in which considering mediation can be beneficial to attorneys and parties to a dispute. If you are interested in exploring how mediation can resolve your Kansas or Missouri case, The Popham Firm stands ready to help you. As the Kansas City area’s premier provider of competent and experienced mediation services, we have the conflict resolution skills and legal knowledge to help you through the mediation process.

Contact us at (844) 243-2288 or through our website.

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