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Mediating Civil and Workplace Injury Cases throughout California

Cases for Mediation Include:
Injury Cases, Automobile, Slip & Fall, Medical Malpractice, Dog Bite, Workers Compensation, Jones Act (seamen’s claims), Defense Base Act, Commercial Disputes, Insurance Coverage Disputes

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Having trouble concentrating? Affected by shelter-in-place orders to contain the COVID-19, overlaid with curfews activated by civil unrest following the death of George Floyd? Join the club. For some cases, nothing is urgent right now. It’s easy to leave those cases on autopilot. What you focus on is what you get. If what you really want is to avoid the expense and stress that go with delaying case resolution, you need to align these: Thoughts: Concentrate…
Empathy, the ability to see a situation from a different point of view, is an important negotiation and advocacy skill. You must be able to anticipate and understand your opponent’s position to effectively counter it. Debate trainers assign students to argue the position opposite their personal beliefs to foster this skill. I’m Fine. To Hell With You Lately we have seen a stunning lack of empathy in our country. On the same day as a county…
You may have heard the abbreviation RTFM. As soon as everyday consumers started using computers, telephone customer support staff had to field daily questions about the most basic functions. Perhaps the most infamous is about the user who insisted that a floppy disk drive (remember those?) was a cup-holder. What the tech people wanted to yell was, “READ THE F-ING MANUAL!”  Read the Mediation Instructions I send instructions to participants in every one of my…
Unquestionably, the COVID-19 pandemic is hurting a variety of businesses. As soon as the extent of financial loss started to become obvious, insurers started seeing lawsuits. Does the lockdown trigger business interruption insurance? What about pollution coverage? Special event coverage? Does actual notice of circumstance bring later claims within a claims-made policy period? Have workers sickened by the virus sustained an industrial injury? Can you collect on your completion bond? It could take years for…
There’s a lot of interest lately in filtering out bad stuff. Of course, we use filters all the time: air filters in the ceilings in our houses, filters to keep the coffee grounds out of our drinks, water filters to improve the stuff that comes from our faucets, filtered cigarettes— well, you get the idea. Think about this. Your negotiations aren’t leading to resolution because of the absence of a filter. A big part of…
Mediation Is Critical Right Now Courts are closed. Attorneys and claims professionals are working from home as best they can. But disputes continue. If an employer is responsible for a claimant’s medical care, delivering that care during a “Shelter in Place” order is a challenge. How a dispute is handled now can determine how the case will proceed in the long term. Because courts are closed, litigating parties should make an extra effort to resolve…
We’ve heard a lot about quid pro quo lately. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Quid pro quo is Latin for “this for that.” This is what negotiation is all about. In fact, the exchange of something of value, legally termed “consideration”, is a requirement for a contract to be valid. Settlement agreements are contracts. A good negotiator always seeks quid pro quo. Don’t give away something unless you get something in return. In…
This will be a big year. Don’t forget it’s Leap Year; there’s an extra day in February. The summer Olympics in Tokyo start July 24 and continue through August 9. The presidential election is on November 3. Maybe you started the year by binging on football bowl games. Now that you’re back to work, think about how 2020 will be your big year of settlement. Prepare by identifying the ugliest claims in your inventory. Then…
This will be a big year. Don’t forget it’s Leap Year; there’s an extra day in February. The summer Olympics in Tokyo start July 24 and continue through August 9. The presidential election is on November 3. Maybe you started the year by binging on football bowl games. Now that you’re back to work, think about how 2020 will be your big year of settlement. Prepare by identifying the ugliest claims in your inventory. Then…
A new California law effective January 1, 2020 governs settlement agreement language regarding employment dismissals and rehires. An employer and employee can still agree that a settlement includes termination of employment, but the agreement cannot include language that the person is barred from re-employment. The legislative history of AB749 shows that the motive behind the law was to prevent situations where a sexual harasser remains employed by a company, but the victim can’t get back…