Occasionally, there are pre-suit mediations. But for purposes of this personal injury blog post, I am going to discuss the more typical mediation variety.
If you have an upcoming personal injury mediation, chances are that pre-litigation negotiations broke down and you have filed a personal-injury lawsuit. In Florida, mediations are required before an injury case can go to trial.
Usually, the defense attorney will suggest one or more mediators they deem acceptable. My first instinct, whenever a defense attorney suggests anything, is to question their motive. In this case, it is obvious they are suggesting mediators that they have used before with some perceived success. Most experienced mediators have reputations in the legal community; so unless the mediator is known to be too defense friendly or if they do not have significant experience handling personal injury cases (for example, simple car accident cases, with typical injuries, do not require as much technical knowledge as a complex defective products cases or a car accident case that involves traumatic brain injury).
I may consider agreeing to one of the defense attorney’s suggestions; here’s why:
the defense attorney is more likely to trust the advice given by a mediator they have used before. If I can combine this psychological advantage with the confidence that I will be able to illustrate my client’s fantastic personal injury case, I believe the mediator will be better equiped to move defense counsel into a compromise more advantageous to my client.