One of the best techniques for settling cases at mediation is to take a consultant or expert witness with you to the session or at least have them available by telephone. I have used this approach in many cases with considerable success. The manner in which this is done varies depending on the complexity of the case, the extent of the consultant's or expert's involvement and what disputes or unresolved issues depend on expert testimony.
Here are some examples:
There are other example of how consultants and experts can be used at mediation. For one we often prepare a mediation video with 20-40 minute mini direct examinations of experts or consultants [even if the consultant is not going to be an expert trial witness] to explain our position or provide information to the defense about technical or medical issues in the case. We use consultants in some cases where there may be several expert trial witnesses eventually, but we use a consultant to address multiple expert issues. We have medical consultants who work with our firm who have broad knowledge and can provide an overview of the case without requiring us to call on several witnesses or treating physicians and incur that expense for the mediation. Sometimes the consultant will use the records and reports of the treating physicians or expert trial witnesses (if they have been obtained) to portray the issues and provide an analysis. Again, we use the protection of the mediation's confidentiality when these consultants are used. In most cases I get an agreement from the defense that we can bring this consultant to the mediation for this purpose and that the defense will honor the confidentiality protection. I have never had my opposition decline to accept this offer.
To me using consultants and experts at mediation is a very positive tool in specific cases in which there are medical or technical issues that need to be addressed. In doing so, we need to be efficient so the consultant who can be provide the overview who might not be suitable as an expert trial witness is an efficient and effective way to assist the mediator and your opposition in understanding your client's case.
Guy O. Kornblum has specialized as a Trial and Appellate Lawyer for 40 years. He has handled over 4,000 litigated matters to conclusion and has several million dollar cases to his credit. Mr. Kornblum has represented hundreds of clients, small businesses, individuals, and large Fortune 500 corporations during his 40 plus years of practice. He is highly regarded for his courtroom and appellate skills, and his representation of his clients in mediations, where he has a strong track record of successful settlements.
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