Maybe you’ve heard someone say, or maybe you have said, “I’ll just sue them,” or “what are you going to do, sue me?” Sometimes, these statements are empty threats. Other times, maybe not. In litigation, regardless of what side you are on, plaintiff or defendant, almost no one enjoys being a party in a lawsuit.
At mediation, in order for both sides to be able to make a fair assessment of the case, I believe the parties need to be able to recognize strengths and weaknesses. The parties should be able to appreciate what is important to the other.
When is a case ready for mediation? Sometimes, a case may be ready for mediation before conducting discovery. There are even times when mediation may work prior to a lawsuit being filed. Other cases may need little or extensive discovery. There needs to be enough relevant information known among the parties for the parties, and the mediator, to be able to make a fair assessment of the case and the positions.
You know your position well. You may be ready to push your case to the courtroom or go to mediation from the beginning. Just remember, in order for mediation to have a shot at success, you need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the other side’s as well.
Tommy Santel is a co-founding partner of Parkerson Santel PLLC. Tommy is a former government prosecutor. He is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil Mediator. Tommy’s practice areas include criminal defense and civil litigation.
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