Minnesota Mediation Attorney, James Gilbert, discusses when the best time is to mediate in the life of a case.
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Well, deciding when to mediate a case in the life of a case is very important. And it really is very fact-dependent too. It depends, you know. There’s no fast answer for any perfect time for any case. Sometimes, people just need some discovery. They need some sworn testimony just to test the validity of some of the claims and maybe some of their defenses too. And sometimes individuals need to have some motion practice accomplished before they come to mediation.
Lot of the cases I’m finding out now are sued out on multiple theories, maybe 15, 20 counts, and maybe 2 or 3 of those really have some substance, so lot of the lawyers like to make a motion for Rule 12 to dismiss portions of the claim before they come to mediation. And some people too that don’t wanna spend the money or go through the hassle and for public and privacy and confidentiality reasons will come before the lawsuits even started.
I’d say 15 or 20 percent of the cases I mediate now are before the lawsuit has even been filed, because both parties know that I understand what’s going on. I understand these cases here. And with sophisticated lawyers, they can educate me basically on what their positions are, what their weaknesses are, and how to go along with it.
And a lot of the bigger companies now too, a lot of the multi-billion dollar companies in Minnesota mandate mediation before. It’s part of their employment agreement. And even a part of some of their vendor agreements mandate mediation process before suit is started. So, some of the wiser people in our communities have even forced that before you can even start a lawsuit.