The “New Normal.” Are we there yet? No. But, most assuredly, we are heading there. Like all life and business in America and New York, our courts and practice of law will likely never be
By Bart J. Eagle and Adam J. Halper Introduction Anyone who regularly practices in state or federal court knows that money figures prominently in how cases are resolved. Often, parties with legitimate claims or defenses
What does that mean for people who look to the courts to resolve disputes? The answer to that question is constantly evolving. What follows is a snapshot of how things stand today, the day this article is published. Now, electronic filing is permitted on non-essential matters, courts are conducting conferences and hearing arguments on motions and appeals virtually.
Given the seismic disruption to our lives that this pandemic has caused, Zoom mediations provide an excellent opportunity to settle a dispute now, which would also have the virtue of limiting (or ending) the expenses and fees that parties will have to pay if a dispute goes on to, or proceeds in, litigation.
"Discovery" is a word that frightens many litigants — what it means, the cost, and the time commitment that it will entail. The part of discovery that many litigants are most concerned about are "depositions" — being questioned by your adversary’s attorneys and challenged under oath. I
Does mediation take time, and can it cost money? Sure. But the amount of time invested by the parties, and the costs, pale significantly in comparison to the time and money that would be expended as the lawsuit moves forward. The potential benefits of meditation are enormous and, in most cases, the risks small.
“What’s taking so long?” This is a common question asked by clients as a lawsuit goes on and on, oftentimes for year after year. Sometimes, the passage of time cannot be helped; neither the parties, the lawyers, nor the courts, acting independently, can make a case move faster.
An effective mediator can go a long way to help parties resolve, or, at the very least, narrow the issues in a dispute. An ineffective mediator can accomplish little other than wasting the parties’ time and money. Mediation is an opportunity to arrive at a settlement reasonably acceptable to you and at far less cost — and in far less time — than if you had to litigate the case all the way to a verdict.
Presumptive ADR, which in many cases will mean mediation, will bring a sea change in the way cases are litigated in New York State. On May 14, 2019, New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced “a transformational move to advance the delivery and quality of civil justice in New York as part of [her] Excellence Initiative.”
Now that mediation is being used more and more frequently, as discussed recently in this article, what should a party’s goals be in the mediation and how can they achieve them?
With increasing frequency, mediation is not a choice that can be made by a party in a lawsuit or transaction; the courts are requiring parties to go to mediation.