Probate & Estate Mediation

Mediation of Probate and Estate Litigation

There is a bit of a natural selection process in the world of Probate law.

Lots of Probate Attorneys either dislike the thought of litigation or never developed the skills for litigation (not for lack of ability). They would rather never see the inside of a courtroom, except to attend brief calendars to process their cases. The thought of a trial with a zealous advocate on the other side is not appealing.

These fine lawyers, whose practice doesn’t include things like Law and Motion Calendars, Depositions, Retaining Experts, and Discovery Plans, usually refer their Estate Litigation cases to other attorneys in their community for litigation management.

Probate Mediation is an Underused Process

Mediating Probate cases is a lot like mediating Family Law cases. The two sides usually know one another and have more than a passing, business relationship. There is a history to the dispute. There is emotion tied to the dispute. No one wants to feel like a loser. Everyone wants speedy resolution. No one wants the litigation fees to eat up the source of recovery. Everyone wants the opportunity to be heard.

Yet, there aren’t a lot of options for those seeking resolution of Probate disputes outside of the Courtroom. There are very few skilled professionals doing Probate Mediation.

Probate Attorneys and their clients should be encouraged to investigate settlement at every opportunity. In some instances, mediation should be considered prior to expensive discovery, and prior to a hand-off to a litigator. In other, more complex cases, post-discovery, pre-trial-setting mediation should be utilized to save the money, time, litigation expense, uncertainty, risk and emotional wear-and-tear that are factors in all matters going to trial.

"Irwin Joseph was able to quickly understand the issues and articulate the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case. He then gently persuaded each side that settlement was in their best interest. Both my client and I were very happy with the service he provided."

Mary F.

So. California

Probate Attorney