What is mediation?

Mediation is an informal procedure where all parties and their lawyers meet in a conference room to attempt to negotiate a settlement.  At mediation, I will make a brief presentation discussing our side of the case to the mediator (usually a retired lawyer or a judge) and of course to the lawyer for the other side and his or her representative (usually the insurance company adjuster).  The lawyer for the other side then will make a brief presentation about their side of the case.  You are required to attend mediation but you are not required to say anything. 

After the initial presentations are made, the mediator will meet with you and me separately from the other side and their lawyer.  The mediator then will discuss the positives and negatives of our case and attempt for us to lower our demand.  The mediator will then meet with the other side, also in private, and attempts to persuade them to increase their offer to us.  This process can be as short as one hour and can go on for several hours.  The court orders that mediation takes place and that you and the other side appear in person at the mediation.  The court does not order, or course, that the case be settled at mediation.