The outcome of personal injury trials in Massachusetts is next to impossible to predict. Every attorney has war stories of cases they should have won, but lost. Additionally, juries have no way of evaluating monetary damages. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that one can win and lose within the same verdict.
Cost is a huge factor in any civil litigation case. Attorney and support staff time devoted to trial preparation can be staggering. Discovery costs (depositions, expert opinions, testimony and fees) for personal injury cases cuts into the end result for both sides. These costs are passed on to the client.
Mediation of personal injury matters is the safest, most cost effective alternative to filing civil suit. It has been estimated that with early mediation, 80% of cases that would otherwise be litigated are settled with only the preparation and costs equivalent to paying for a single deposition. Mediation allows both sides the opportunity to meet in a neutral setting and see the strength and weaknesses of their own case through the eyes of opposing counsel. It also offers the time to consider the cost/benefit analysis of proceeding with a risky trial. Civil litigation can delay settlement of personal injury cases for years. On average, court dockets for these cases extend eighteen months to two years from complaint filing to jury trial.
With Massachusetts state safety certifications and practical motorcycle experience, mediation of such cases is effectuated comprehensively.
Business disputes typically take the form of partnership break-ups and equitable disbursement of business assets and liabilities. Mediation often resolves disputes with no seemingly workable solution. NEMA has successfully resolved hundreds of business disputes, to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.
Employment, Discrimination, and Harassment
NEMA has handled hundreds of employment cases on behalf of businesses and as a contract mediator for the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission. I have had numerous successes with settlement resolutions, mediating with state and federal agencies and human resource departments in small companies to large corporations. Specific areas within this practice include:
Commercial and Residential Real Estate
Fifteen years as a commercial real estate owner has provided the insight needed to resolve many complex real estate cases. Additionally, where these have involved arson and the causes of fires, past experience as an ATF Special Agent in this area has lead to effective conflict resolution.
Claims of civil rights violations fall under the jurisdiction of federal courts. Police claims, such as misconduct, excessive force, and unlawful imprisonment or arrest are frequently resolved through mediation. Violations of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) also fall under civil rights claims.
The nature of these matters is extremely personal, with strong emotional undercurrents to such claims. Litigation of civil rights claims is a long process. Discovery expenses run high, and, unlike a physical injury claim, monetary damages are difficult to calculate, even by experienced attorneys. Juries have no means of determining an award for damages, and so monetary awards are sometimes arbitrary. Many federal court judges and magistrates insist on mediation as a pre-trial requirement. Often, monetary damages are not all, or even the most important consideration to litigants.
Many times, there are multiple parties to civil rights actions. A diplomatic mediator, with skill in this highly specialized area, will take into account the perspective and needs of each participant, and work with the parties to bring about a self-determined resolution of the claim.
Successful mediation of civil rights claims involves creative solutions, as well as negotiation of monetary damages. A mediated settlement agreement eliminates the possibility of years in litigation and appeals. Most importantly, it brings closure to the parties.
Admiralty and Maritime
Admiralty and Maritime law falls under the jurisdiction of federal courts, but are generally filed as civil actions seeking monetary damages. These claims include maritime contracts, as well as collisions, storm damage, vessel insurance claims, and passenger injuries, that occurred on a sea vessel. Mediation can bring about timely and cost effective resolution of a matter that might otherwise spend years in federal court litigation. Claims under the Jones Act may also be mediated. With practical experience and extensive personal knowledge of maritime law, including cases involving the Jones Act, hundreds of admiralty claims have been successfully mediated.
In the unfortunate circumstance where an injury results in death, I have the experience in successfully mediating these emotional and stressful cases, and mitigating the strained dynamics affecting the loss suffered by family, friends, and the parties involved.
Mediation of medical malpractice lawsuits delves into the issues of the negligence of medical professionals. Whether that person is a doctor, nurse, radiologist, pharmacist, or any other healthcare professional, the mediator works closely with all concerned parties to establish the patient’s injury and consequential damages. Medical malpractice cases are routinely resolved through the mediation process.
As an alternative to an expensive divorce proceeding, many times parties will agree to mediate the dissolution of their marriage, to allocate assets and effectuate child visitation schedules.