Lawsuits are one of the most difficult experiences you will ever have to go through. Nowhere is this more evident than when you are being sued by someone in civil court. This comes with fear and uncertainty, both of which are only increased by the complicated and arcane legal proceedings. You will likely feel overwhelmed and in need of help. Shapiro Mediation is here to give you that help. We are experts in civil defendant mediation, which is an alternative to traditional litigation. Here’s what you can expect during defendant mediation, and why it is often preferred to litigation, below.
What is Defendant Mediation?
United States District Courts saw a four percent increase in filings during 2017. While not all of these were civil filings, many were. This means that more people are taking their disputes into the courtroom, costing all parties involved time and money. This is to say nothing of the emotional toll a lawsuit brings with it. Simply put – you have smarter options than litigation.
Defendant mediation is one of these.
Being accused of causing another individual or business entity harm is challenging. In court, it means standing accused of something you may not have done in front of a jury of your peers. This is difficult, expensive, and often embarrassing. Civil defendant mediation offers you another approach to settling the conflict.
Defendant mediation, sometimes called defendant litigation mediation, is what is known as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It seeks to find a resolution to conflict that is beneficial to all parties involved without the need for traditional litigation. It is facilitated by a third party, often an attorney or former judge, who is neutral.
Defendant litigation mediation offers numerous benefits. Due to the direct nature of mediation, it is often quicker than a lawsuit. You will be negotiating directly with the plaintiff. This removes the need for discovery, filing, motions, and other complicated legal actions. Mediation is often less expensive than litigation. You will only need to retain a single defendant mediation attorney. When combined with the increased speed of mediation, you will likely see a significantly lower bill than if you opted to go through the court system.
Perhaps most important is the confidential nature of mediation. While civil trials are, generally speaking, matters of public record, mediation is private. This helps both parties negotiate more effectively. It also keeps the entire dispute out of the public eye.
Defendant Mediation Strategy
Now that we have explored what mediation is, let’s look at what makes a strong defendant mediation strategy.
You should avoid negotiating with the other parties outside of the mediation room. This means you should not engage in phone negotiations or private, “dinner-table” negotiations. Another defendant mediation strategy is to make sure you have the case evaluated by a third-party before beginning mediation. While the mediator is neutral, you always want to have a second opinion.
You should always have several numbers in mind during the mediation process. One is your starting number, which is the initial amount that you offer to settle for. Another set of numbers are the bargaining points. These are the amounts that you are willing to negotiate with. It is a smart idea to have several in mind. Finally, you will want to have a reserve. This is the highest amount you are willing to pay.
These are only a few examples of the defendant mediation strategy, but they are enough to give you a general idea of how savvy you must be at the negotiation table.
Shapiro Mediation Services is Here to Help
If you are considering defendant litigation mediation, you should contact an experienced attorney right away. Shapiro Mediation Services is here to fight for you. Our team of expert defendant mediators knows how to negotiate a favorable outcome. Call us today at (339) 298-7733 for a free consultation.