Network Firm News

Monday, May 05, 2003

Mediators take the clog out of courts
Memphis Business Journal -- Paul Ivice -- 5/2/03
Courts would be severely backlogged without mediation resolving more than 80% of civil lawsuits.

Mediation is on the rise in civil litigation, says Chief Judge Donald R. Moran Jr. of Florida's 4th Judicial Circuit. "We continue to see a refining of mediation to where it's even more effective than it's been in the past."

Mattox Hair, a former Florida legislator and circuit judge who started mediating in 1993 and quickly decided to make it his fulltime work, says most cases settle in mediation for three reasons:
-- The parties make the decision, holding their fate in their own hands, rather than leaving it to the unpredictability of a judge and a jury.
-- They avoid the costs of going to trial.
-- They have the finality of knowing there will be no appeal.

Mediator Tom Tygart adds two more:
-- Both sides get a partial victory at least, avoiding the all-or-nothing approach of a trial.
-- The mediation process and its outcome are confidential.

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