Hi this is Brian Wiklendt of Garfinkel Schwartz here in Maitland Florida. I thought I would tell you about “What Happens in a Defense Base Act Law Mediation.”
I just got back from a trip so instead of boring you with legal details and things and sitting at a desk I thought I’d take you on a tour of our office and tell you about what happens when we have a mediation in the offices of Defense Base Act Law Firm Garfinkel Schwartz. We’ll start at the large conference room.
So here we are in our conference room. This is our main conference room where we have clients and the best part about the conference room is that we have this video capability and it’s really nice to video conference with clients through Skype or any other type of medium and we can see each other on the screens together.
Telephonic Hearing with All Parties
And as an example I just had a telephonic hearing with a client and the client was in South Carolina and the judge was in Newport News, Virginia, and I was here in Orlando Florida and it worked out really well.
It was it was a live type conference situation where people didn’t have to travel and they could see each other in person eye-to-eye. And that’s the way I like to do business instead of over the phone and you know the e-mails and texts and Tweets and all that kind of stuff. I Iike to do it the old-fashioned way and see someone that I’m representing to help them and they can understand and see me and Doreen and my staff through video wherever you are.
We have clients in all around the world: Australia, Scotland, United Kingdom, Germany, the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and so it really works well. And this conference room that we can use this video conferencing equipment that we have is great. It’s very helpful. It saves time, you can say you want to talk to us in a video conference and we can just come in here and take care of things face to face.
In this particular room, we usually do depositions normally. It’s a formalized type setting so that there’s room for people to move around and what happens in a deposition would be live testimony that would be given by either by a treating physician, a doctor, your doctor or to show that your injury was related to your employment or maybe you.
We would like to have it in friendly confines so that we can prepare each other for the deposition and take it and have it in a comfortable place like this.
We also have another conference room that we go between. There’s a large one and a smaller one.
Defense Base Act Law Mediation
So here in our smaller conference room what we usually use this room for is for mediations. We have mediations where there’s a neutral mediator that’s here at the office and we also have the insurance company and the representative and their their counsel present.
A mediation–which is a meeting of the minds to determine whether or not we can settle the case out right and let everyone go their separate ways–sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Most of the time they do when the time is right and when it seems like both sides want to try to negotiate we have a mediation.
What Happens in a Mediation?
And what a mediation is actually is when we meet in the bigger conference room together and everybody’s here together. We, Garfinkel Schwartz, we give our client’s position statement to the mediator and the mediator makes a little statement about himself. And we’re reporting that whether or not we want to settle the case and that if nothing else, everything else is confidential to the federal judge.
Then after we break during that first session we come in here and we hang out in the smaller conference room. And the mediator goes back in forth. And what the mediator does is basically we tell him what we want him to say in terms of our position on one side or the other.
And sometimes we give him confidential information that we don’t want him to share quite yet because we’re getting ready for a trial. So we he goes back and forth back and forth for however long it takes.
Mediations Last About Four Hours
I’ve actually had a mediation that lasted more than four days straight. You know thirty two straight hours of mediation going back and forth. A lot of most of the time it’s you know when we can we cut to the chase. Because we all know each other in this little area of law – judges, lawyers, mediators–that sometimes we cut to the chase after about four hours or so and figure out whether or not we’re going to be in a range of the settlement that’s good for both sides. If we don’t, then, we go to trial.
But this is a nice arena nice conference rooms for us to go back and forth. And it’s quiet and it’s confidential and anything that we say during mediations are confidential.
Mediations Are Often Successful
So that’s what the law is and that’s what we do and we probably have a mediation and the vast majority of the cases that we have just to see if we can come to a meeting of the minds with the insurance company or the employer. And like I said a lot of times it’s successful for both sides.
And that’s what we try to do here and if we don’t, then we go to court and let the judge decide everyone’s fate.
Mediations Can Take Place Anywhere Across the Country
So this is just a small piece of our office and what we use these rooms for here at Garfinkel Schwartz in Maitland Florida. And like I said, I mean I’ve even had mediations in the airport hangar. I’ve had mediations at Disney World. You know wherever there’s a conference table and two places for people to meet that’s where we sometimes have these things. Hotel rooms you know whatever so I go all across the country into these things.
But this is our home base and you know if we’re able to have everyone come to Florida and meet here, then it works really well. It’s very comfortable for our clients.
So I hope you call if you have some issues or problems or want to know more about mediations and the settlement process and the Defense Base Act and things like that, we’re here on call for free to answer any of your questions that you may have. Thanks again, I’m Brian Wiklendt.