Mediation is clearly the wave of the future in injury cases.
The reason that mediation is now very popular with both sides is that it saves $$.
Litigation expenses on both sides can be extremely high.
It is not unusual to spend $10,000 to pursue an injury case.
Likewise the defense must hire their own experts and it may be even worse for them.
Because attorneys that represent defendants are paid on an hourly basis.
That means they are paid no matter what the award is or is not.
That is unlike attorneys who represent victims in auto accident, slip & falls and product liability cases. We are only paid a fee if you get a recovery.
Therefore, there is a great push in the law for mediation BEFORE
the case goes to the jury.
Pittsburgh Wrongful Death, Medical Malpractice, Slip & Fall,
Product Liability, Car Accident and Criminal Defense Attorney
Bernie Tully estimates that in just about every case these days the parties decide on their own or by order of the trial Judge to participate in some type of mediation.
Again the idea behind mediation is to get the mediator who has no interest in the outcome of the case to hear the facts from both sides.
Then the mediator tries to get both sides together to reach a fair and acceptable settlement of the case.
However, mediation has been taken to a new level recently.
Now Judges are even ordering mediation AFTER a jury reaches a verdict.
You might think that once a jury reaches a verdict, that is the final decision and the money is just paid to the victim.
The losing side almost always files what are called post trial motions challenging some ruling by the trial Judge.
Then the case is heard by a higher Court. In Pennsylvania it is often the Superior or Supreme Court.
They review the record and make a determination whether the Judge made an error or there was some other issue in the case that would justify a new trial.
As a way to avoid all this, many Judges are now requiring, even AFTER a jury verdict, that the parties meet together to try and get a final resolution of the claim.
Suppose a jury awards $1 million to an injury victim.
If the Judge orders the parties to mediate the matter AFTER the jury verdict, maybe the parties settle for $750,000.
You might wonder why the Plaintiff would agree to settle for
$250,000 less than the jury award?
Because by accepting that amount, the award becomes final and the victim actually receives the $$.
If a higher Court determines there is a legal error, it voids the jury verdict.
Then you have to go to trial all over again, with a new jury and the jury’s unpredictability.
Therefore Pittsburgh Wrongful Death, Medical Malpractice, Slip & Fall, Product Liability, Car Accident and Criminal Defense Attorney Bernie Tully thinks that this is just the first wave of
rulings by Judges on this issue.
We are going to be seeing a lot more Judges ordering mediation even AFTER a jury reaches a verdict.
Do you think this is fair to the victims?
Do you think it is fair to the defense?
Thanks for reading.
Bernie the Attorney