Mediating Civil Cases

Civil cases usually involve two parties, one of whom is insured.  So, the mediation has another participant--the insurance company representative.

Civil cases are of two basic kinds: 

1.  Those cases in which the parties did not know each other before the claim arose and won't likely see one another after the claim is settled  (like an auto accident), and,

2. Those cases in which some relationship between the parties exists both before the claim arose and after the claim is resolved (like a dispute between vendor and customer).

For the first type, the question is, "How much will it take to settle."  Much of the mediation process is "shuttle diplomacy" wherein the mediator serves as the go-between in a lengthy negotiation process.

For the second type, other goals, aspirations and desires overlay the settlement of the instant claim.  It isn't helpful to settle the instant case if the relationship between the parties is damaged in the process.  A skilled mediator will take this relationship into account and tailor the process for mutual benefit. Some call this "integrative bargaining".  He/she will look for opportunities to fashion solutions satisfactory to both sides.  One of the mediation goals will be that at the conclusion of the mediation, the parties will all be in the same room signing closing documents and will be looking forward to further transactions and deals with one another. 


 "I have participated in several Judicial mediations and one private mediation w/ Retired Commissioner Joseph. He knows the law and has the ability to get parties to focus on the issues that need resolution. Most sessions I have attended resulted in full resolutions and the rest have resulted in partial resolutions."