Mediation is a dispute-resolution mechanism which gives the parties the most control they will ever have over the outcome of their lawsuit. Over the last decade, the use of mediation has expanded significantly as jury verdicts have become more erratic and unpredictable, and the costs of litigation have risen steadily. A mediation involves a neutral third party (called a "mediator") who works with both sides of the lawsuit to explore fair settlement options that resolve the case in a manner acceptable to all parties. A trial is a "winner takes all" resolution in which a group of jurors declare one party the winner and the other party the loser. As such, the parties in a trial will have no control over the outcome when the jury starts deliberating. Unlike a trial, a mediation provides an opportunity to reach a mutually acceptable resolution to the dispute...a resolution crafted by the parties themselves. As such, mediation is the best mechanism currently available by which the disputing parties play an active role in creating their own solution. In a mediation, the mediator will briefly meet with all parties and their counsel to get an overview of the dispute. Thereafter, the parties and their counsel go into separate rooms. The mediator then goes back and forth to the various rooms to confer with the conflicting sides in an attempt to explore potential settlements. The primary benefit of mediation is that the parties retain complete control over the outcome of their case. If the parties cannot agree to a settlement, no resolution will be forced upon them. The parties simply walk away from the mediation and continue down the path toward trial.
Attorney James Blumenstiel has been providing mediation services for our firm over the last ten years. Having tried hundreds of cases throughout the eastern half of the Unites States over the past forty years, he gained invaluable experience regarding how jurors view and interpret evidence at trial, and how they arrive at their verdict. This experience and perspective helps him to mediate cases with true impartiality, as he is able to recognize the risks to both sides of a case and relay that information to the parties so they can work toward a fair and informed resolution to their case. James Blumenstiel has a very high success rate of helping the parties reach a mutually-agreeable resolution during mediation, and he enjoys providing a service designed to give the parties a voice in the litigation process and an avenue to control the resolution of their case.