GL-og, A Law Blog

Removing the Mystery from the Legal Process

Settlement of Your Personal Injury Case

David Greenberg - Tuesday, May 20, 2014
When an individual is injured and needs to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for the damages sustained, it is normal for them to ask their attorney “When is my case going to settle?”. Although normal for a client to ask their attorney this question, the answer is not easy and is somewhat involved.

It is important to note that a plaintiff can never force a defendant to settle a case. Settlement is voluntary and is usually accomplished when it becomes clear to the defendant that the plaintiff has a legitimate case and that the defendant is at risk of being found liable to the plaintiff for damages at a trial.

In all types of litigation including personal injury litigation, defendants do not like being sued and the thought of having to pay the plaintiff. It is very important for the attorney for the injured party, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, to put pressure on defendants to encourage them to evaluate the case and attempt to settle the case with the plaintiff. The plaintiff does this by moving the case forward in a number of ways including providing proof of the defendant’s fault to the defendant’s attorney, compiling the plaintiffs medical records and providing them to the defendant’s attorney, obtaining records from the defendant’s attorney, taking depositions if necessary, and attempting to enter into negotiations with the defendant’s attorney. If the defendant is not interested in settlement at this point in time, the plaintiff’s attorney can request a trial date from the court. The prospect of a date when the case will be tried before a judge or jury many times will lead to the parties to the lawsuit considering ways to settle it to avoid a this as a trial is very stressful to all involved.

Lawsuits can settle at any time in the process including right before trial, the day of trial, during trial or even after a judgment has been rendered. It is the hard work of the plaintiff and his or her attorney that generally makes the prospect of settlement look good to the defendants to the litigation.

 

Greenberg & LaPeyronnie is not your lawyer, and therefore the information contained in this blog post is simply informational, not legal advice. However, if you have any questions or are seeking legal advice, please call us at 504-366-8118 to set up a consultation today. 

What Is Mediation and How It Can Help You Settle Your Lawsuit

David Greenberg - Friday, March 21, 2014
The mediation process is very helpful to help resolve many types of lawsuits. Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The ADR movement exploded in earnest in the mid-to-late 1970s and early 1980s.

What is mediation?

Mediation is the process of attempting to settle lawsuits or other disputes by use of a third party, a mediator, who acts as a link between the parties to assist in negotiations and facilitate resolution of the lawsuit or dispute. Mediators receive special training teaching them how to be effective mediators. Prior to mediation occurring, the attorneys for the parties to the lawsuit usually prepare a position paper giving relevant information to the mediator to present the facts to him and set forth the nature of the lawsuit.

Court ordered mediation.


Court ordered mediation can be conducted by the trial judge, a magistrate judge, or hearing officer. Court ordered mediation tends to be less successful than voluntary mediation for the simple reason that it is a process which is ordered to occur as opposed to the parties voluntarily agreeing to participate. In court ordered mediation, the judge, magistrate judge, or hearing officer leading the mediation suggests possible ways that the case should resolve itself without the need for a full trial before a judge or a jury. The parties to the lawsuit have the right to accept the recommendations of the mediator, reject the recommendations of the mediator, or modify them, and to settle the case on any terms to which they agree.

Voluntary mediation.

Voluntary mediation is a process where the parties voluntarily employ someone to act as a mediator. There are many firms which employ mediators in southeast and south-central Louisiana. This mediator is an attorney who is paid to act as a neutral third party, hear the case from the parties to the litigation, and suggests ways that the lawsuit may be resolved. There is a mediation date scheduled and on this date, the parties and their attorney’s meet with the mediator, usually at his office. The mediator’s job is to point out the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case and to make recommendations as to how to resolve a case based upon these observations. Once again, the parties to the lawsuit have the right to accept the recommendations of the mediator, reject the recommendations of the mediator, or modify them. In voluntary mediation, the process involves parties submitting offers and counteroffers back and forth until the parties reach have a deal in place settling their case, or reach an impasse. If the case is settled, it is confirmed in writing by the parties to the lawsuit and their attorneys at the end of the mediation session. The actual settlement of the case usually occurs within 30 days of the mediation.

When is mediation useful?

Voluntary mediation tends to be useful when the discovery phase of a lawsuit has occurred and the parties need an independent third-party to review the facts and offer suggestions as to how a case may be settled. Many courts order mediation. The author has found that court-ordered mediation is not as successful based upon the demands placed upon court personnel and further, that the parties are ordered to participate in the process, i.e., it is mandatory. Voluntary mediation tends to be more successful as the parties are participating in the process voluntarily and they have the undivided attention of the mediator whom they are paying directly to assist them to attempt to resolve the case.

Statistics show that approximately 80 to 85% of the cases in which the voluntary mediation process is employed, are resolved either at the mediation session or shortly thereafter.

Mediation is simply another tool used by trial attorneys to attempt to resolve cases for the benefit of their clients.

 

Greenberg & LaPeyronnie is not your lawyer, and therefore the information contained in this blog post is simply informational, not legal advice. However, if you have any questions or are seeking legal advice, please call us at 504-366-8118 to set up a consultation today.