• February 03, 2021
  • Blog

If your business interests, brand or intellectual property have been harmed by another company, you have every right to seek compensation or an injunction. The traditional route to seek redress is to build up a case and sue, in the hope that the other party will offer a reasonable settlement at some point prior to an expensive and uncertain trial. But even if your case does not go to trial, involving yourself in a lawsuit can be very costly. Litigation expenses include the direct expenses of legal fees, filing fees, deposition reporter’s fees, subpoena fees, investigator fees, expert fees, jury fees, court transcripts, document management fees, and often jury consultant fees. But, this does not count the indirect costs—the cost of having you, the money machine for your business wrapped up in litigation instead of running your business and generating a future income stream. Litigation can also take a toll on business and personal relations, leading to strain and even their breakup

There is another way. You can settle your dispute through mediation. This form of resolving civil liability claims is on the rise because it saves money and time. It also gives the parties input into the determination of their dispute—it allows them to fashion a result they can live with. Finally, it helps preserve business and personal relationships; even those with the adverse party.  Mediation allows the parties to decide the case rather than having a third party impose an outcome. It is an efficient and effective way to get the justice you deserve.

To engage in mediation, you will need to hire a Santa Monica mediation attorney. Even in a mediation, you must ensure that your interests are protected. A mediation attorney will know how the mediation process works, and they will help you navigate it effectively.  Recent studies show that parties engaging in mediation do much better when they are represented by counsel,

Once you have an attorney, you and your attorney will begin the process of Mediation in Santa Monica with the selection of a mediator. Your legal team and the legal team of the adverse party will work together to select the Mediator. You will want a Mediator with knowledge in the substantive area of your dispute as well as one who uses the approach to mediation that with which you are comfortable. See the blog on Evaluative vs. Facilitative Mediation for more information.  Once the Mediator is selected, both sides will submit briefs to the Mediator before the Mediation explaining their positions as well as the primary interests that they wish to protect in the Dispute. This will assist the Mediator greatly in crafting a resolution. The Mediator may or may not wish to have both parties make a presentation in front of the other because the point of Mediation is not to posture for the other side but to reach a compromise settlement, most of the negotiation is done in sessions between the Mediator and one side only with strict confidentiality governing what is said.
You have been listening to your attorney, the other side and now have reviewed the mediation briefs of the adverse party. There is no point to wasting time listening to the other side bloviate further during the Mediation—it is time for doing the hard work of negotiation to try to settle the case. Based on what you have heard, you and your attorney will determine a compensation amount that you think is fair. The mediator will go back and forth between you and the adverse party in an attempt to find an amount that is acceptable to both sides. Once this point has been reached, the case is settled. If the parties get close, sometimes they will ask the Mediator for his/her proposal. Sometimes they will each write down a number, then ask the Mediator to do so—the settlement will be the number that is closest to the number of the Mediator. Sometimes there will be a settlement save one issue to be presented to the court. Even if Mediation fails to secure a 100% settlement it can be extremely useful to reduce costs and increase understanding of the position of the adversary