What might you expect during your mediation? This is an important question for not only a birth injury, or medical malpractice case, but for any case that requires some sort of negotiation. In my experience, clients start to bring this issue up as we start to close out discovery, and move to the next phase of the process.
Before getting deeper into this issue, I want to remind you that the information I am providing here is general in nature. What this means is that if you have specific questions regarding your case, and upcoming mediation, you should direct those questions to your attorney. Also, I’m am basing this discussion on how things are done in Maryland.
WHEN CAN A CASE SETTLE?
One point you should understand before getting to the mediation question is when can a case settle, and who has settlement authority? The short answer is that a case can settle any time before a verdict is rendered, or a judgment is made. In other words, a plaintiff can accept a settlement offer all the way up until the above-mentioned time.
As for the issue of authority, the client has ultimate authority as to when a case settles. The client can give the attorney authorization as to an acceptable amount for settlement. The attorney and client, in many instances will have talked about the issue of settlement and the pros and cons surrounding a potential number. Things like medical bills, costs, etc… will be explained so the client can understand their options.
WHAT MIGHT YOU EXPECT DURING YOUR MEDIATION?
Although every mediation is different, the purpose is pretty much the same in this context and that is to see if both sides can agree on a settlement to the case. During the mediation, the defense will be represented usually by not only their attorney(s) but also a money person. For example, if there is a claims person from the insurance company (if insurance is in the case), that person will more than like be present personally, or by phone or other communication.
The mediator may have a feel for the case and issues through a drafted mediation statement by both sides. A mediation statement can help the mediator understand the issues present in the case.
In my experience, mediators usually have all sides separated and moves back and forth between each side, searching for a number that is satisfactory to all parties.
While you are in the mediation, it is a good idea to lean on your attorney’s expertise in this area, as he or she can help you navigate certain issues which may present themselves.
In the event your case cannot be settled during mediation, the mediation will be completed and the case will move forward on the docket to trial, as normal.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP