Frequently Asked Question's
Should clients and those with decision making authority attend the mediation?
For mediation to be successful those with decision making adequate authority for each participant should attend the mediation. Plaintiffs must attend unless extraordinary circumstances suddenly occur and prior written notice is provided to all parties. Insurance representatives must also attend to achieve success and all necessary supervisory/authority levels within the insurer should also participate.
Should a joint session with all participants take place at mediation?
Currently, these sessions with some or all participants typically do not occur. The exceptions would be where it would be deemed beneficial by the mediator or participants to the process and moving forward towards a settlement. This can be a global participation or limited participation and on focused issues. An example could be where defense counsel and representatives with authority to make decisions have never met the plaintiff(s) and all believe it would be beneficial.
Should participants provide written submissions to the mediator?
All participants are encouraged to submit mediation materials to the mediator seven (7) days prior to the mediation. The submissions are delivered by email, fax or US mail or other physical delivery method. They should provide an overview of factual and legal issues that include strong and weak parts to the case and participants. Selected documents attached would be expected to include that participants’ strongest evidence. And parties should exchange their submissions and attachments prior to or at mediation, or at least expect the mediator to discuss such with all participants at the mediation. Participants counsel should also feel free to call Ms. Dunlap prior to the mediation to discuss any information they consider important to the mediation. And the mediator should be provided with the current status of settlement negotiations prior to mediation.
What are the mediation hours and what happens if there has not been a settlement at the end of the scheduled Mediation?
Mediation hours would typically have a start time of 9:00 am and conclude for a full day
mediation at 5:00 pm. For half day planned mediations, start times would be 9:00 am and
end at 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Times can be altered to meet the needs of the parties.
Should a settlement not be completed prior to the end of the scheduled mediation, it will continue
after hours if all are available or to a different date and time or by phone by the
Mediators follow up with counsel of the participants. Ms. Dunlap will work very diligently and
timely with the participants counsel to resolve the party’s dispute for however long it takes
following the mediation session. Upon request and agreement mediations can also be scheduled
in evenings or on weekends.
What will happen to the participants document submissions to the mediator?
Unless participants submit a written request for return of materials they submitted to the mediator within five (5) calendar days of the conclusion of the mediation or settlement between the parties, whichever is later, the materials submitted by participants to the mediator will be destroyed within 90 days.
What types of cases are accepted for mediation or arbitration?
Civil litigation cases accepted include: personal injury from minor to catastrophic and wrongful death that may also involve psychological injuries; employment based or other sexual torts or abuse or harassment; commercial and individual insurance policy coverage disputes that may include bad faith, consumer protection, and/or IFCA violations; other insurance disputes involving subrogation, PIP, and contractor bonds; commercial and individual property losses; land owner disputes such as boundary line, adverse possession, tree cutting, waste, and nuisance; and other complicated liability and injury/damages claims/cases.