Mediations in the McKinney Dog Bite Case

The discussion of a settlement will come up at a number of points in time during the case. The better the relationship you have with the parties involved, the easier it is to ease into those sorts of conversations. Settlement conversations typically now require mediation or an assisted settlement conference between the parties. Read below to learn more about mediations. If you have any questions, contact an experienced lawyer.

Effectiveness of Mediations

Mediation has become less and less effective over time on most cases as we have seen defendants simply using mediation as an attempt to sweat the plaintiff. However, there are some cases when the defendant genuinely wants an opportunity to come to the table.  Mediation does allow that to occur without harming the defendant’s litigation posture.

Mediation tends to be more effective when it occurs much closer to trial when the defense knows that they are not going to be able to buy the plaintiff off cheaply. The adjuster will often not give a case its full value early on. Instead, they may come with 10% to 20% of the value of the case.

It is frustrating for the plaintiff’s lawyer because they put the full case together and are ready to help their client get their problem resolved. Without the defense being fully involved and aware of their risk, it is difficult for these cases to settle. The bigger the case is, the more likely that there will be multiple mediations or that the mediator will have to follow up with additional conversations over weeks or months in an attempt to settle a case

What Happens When the Settlement Negotiation is Not Successful?

In many cases, the settlement negotiations are not as successful as anticipated. Most judges require an assisted settlement conference to occur in the case before they would give a trial date. It is more common than not that mediations are unsuccessful now, at least initially.

There is still value in mediation. Even if the mediation does not end up in a settlement, it is still successful if it can be determined what the dollar amount is that the other side will settle the case for at that given point in time. Lawyers want clients to go in with their eyes fully open to understand exactly what the other side will and will not do. Mediations are also successful if it can be determined, for instance, that the insurance company is only going to pay X dollars for this case and that is all they are going to pay unless the case goes to trial. Whether or not mediation results in a settlement, lawyers gain information that helps their clients make the best decision for their life.  Sometimes, and unanticipated defense or facts are shared at a mediation that can change the posture of a case.  These factual breakthroughs are uncommon, but can cause the parties to re-evaluate their risk and sometimes can lead to case settlement.

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