Just about every case we prepare for trial is mediated at some point before trial. The courts are busier than ever and are generally understaffed, creating a backlog of cases waiting for their day at trial. In order to ease this backlog, most courts are mandating that the parties attempt to settle their cases using some form of mediation. After all, when reasonable parties can come to the negotiation table in good faith to settle their dispute, we’d venture to say that 90-95% of cases could be resolved without a trial.
Note that it is necessary for the parties to be reasonable. In Gokal Law Group Partner, Abbas Gokal’s Trusts and Estates litigation practice, we handle a large number of fights between family members. While most family disputes are resolved at mediation, family disputes are often fueled by years of history filled with baggage unrelated to the issues on the table. Often, this results in a reduction of the reasonableness of some parties, making settlement discussions substantially harder if not impossible.
This may beg the question if the person on the opposite side of a dispute is known to be unreasonable, what’s the point of attending mediation? Mediation may be court ordered, and you may not have a choice in the matter. Abbas Gokal tends not to turn down an opportunity to mediate, because even if mediation fails, it is an opportunity to learn about the arguments and position one can expect to be made at the time of trial. A savvy attorney can use the information learned at mediation to address any weaknesses in their client’s case. Note that there are mediation confidentiality laws that prevent a party to use statements made at mediation at the time of trial.
Lawsuits are time-consuming and often take years to reach trial. Therefore, when considering mediation, timing is extremely important. Mediation can even be conducted before a lawsuit is filed. Other times, mediation is conducted soon after filing suit but before substantial discovery is completed. More often than not, some written discovery and depositions are completed before mediation. Sometimes multiple mediations are conducted before a settlement is reached.
Abbas Gokal and the attorneys at Gokal Law Group are always dedicated to doing what is in the absolute best interest of our clients, whether that be resolving the case or taking the case to trial. Each of our attorneys has vast years of experience in their practice area, providing the knowledge, skills, and vision to fight and right the wrongs our clients have endured. If you believe you have a case, schedule a free consultation or give us a call at (949) 753-9100.