Avoid Expensive Litigation Costs 
With Mediation

Certified Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediator

Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) consists of mediation and arbitration. Mark Ravis is a professional mediator who assists  parties in litigation to solve their disputes through mediation and arbitration and end the emotional turmoil and expense of litigation.

Understanding The Purpose And Process Of Mediation

Mediation is by far the most common type of ADR. Mediation is a process in which all parties to a litigation select a neutral certified mediator to review legal mediation briefs, key pieces of evidence, and hear arguments from all sides at a hearing. Courtroom formalities and the rules of evidence are not enforced.  It is a more informal and relaxed setting than a courtroom.

A Truly Neutral Mediator Is Key

It is important to have a mediator that is truly neutral. Dr. Mark Ravis is well regarded as a neutral and fair mediator. In his many years of litigation, he has represented injured plaintiffs, health care providers in a variety of cases, medical staffs, and homes for disabled adults. He has litigated class action cases and many civil rights cases, including Title VI and VII and Eighth Amendment cases. In short, he has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, understands the needs of both, and can be truly neutral.

As to the mediation process itself, mediation usually begins by all parties meeting together in a large conference room and introducing themselves and making a brief preliminary statement of their case. The parties then adjourn to individual conference rooms so they can meet privately with the mediator. All discussions with the mediator are confidential. The mediator will not convey information to the other side unless specifically authorized to do so.

These private meetings with the parties allow the mediator to obtain a fairly good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case. The mediator will point out these strengths and weaknesses to each party privately. Ultimately, the mediator will attempt to have the parties agree to a monetary amount for settlement that will satisfy all parties.

It is important to select a mediator with familiarity with the technical issues that may be involved in the case. For example, in a medical malpractice case or serious personal injury case, there are usually complex medical issues to be resolved. The parties all have their supporting experts who offer conflicting opinions.  It can be difficult for a lay mediator to understand these scientific complexities.

This is one advantage of selecting a mediator like Dr. Ravis who has both in-depth medical knowledge as well as an in-depth legal and trial background. He will be able to understand the expert opinions and sort through them for their strengths and weaknesses and explain the significance of each to the parties.

In general, the parties are motivated to achieve settlement because of the costs and risks of proceeding in court to trial. Those costs can be thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, not including court and jury fees and the possibility of the losing party being responsible for certain costs of the prevailing party. And, the case may not even end at trial as the losing party often files an appeal which in itself is a lengthy and expensive process.

The Court May Require Mediation

It is important to know that mediation is usually required by most courts before the parties are allowed to proceed to trial. Courts want to clear their dockets of cases as quickly and fairly as possible. A trial is an expensive proposition for the court as well as the parties. It can cost the government tens of thousands of dollars to host a multi-day trial. In the end, the losing party will be very disappointed.

Another advantage of mediation is that it is non-binding. The mediator does not decide the case. The parties may reject the mediator’s suggestions and report to the court that mediation did not achieve a settlement and proceed to trial.

A settlement through mediation ends the cost and risk exposure of trial. Just as important, a settlement through mediation ends the emotional turmoil which is an unavoidable part or almost every litigation.

If the mediation session fails to achieve a settlement, it often brings the parties closer together so that they can continue private negotiations and possibly settle the case themselves. Dr. Ravis makes it a practice to continue with the parties after the mediation session, at no charge, if they wish him to do so, to help with further settlement negotiations.

Dr. Ravis is available for in-person or remote mediation in California and throughout the United States.

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is very different than mediation. The arbitrator is a neutral person who has been selected by all parties, just as in mediation. However, the arbitrator actually conducts a trial and decides the case just as a judge might decide a case. The arbitrator’s decision is binding on the parties.

The process is called an arbitral trial and is conducted in the same order as an actual trial in court. This consists of each side filing trial briefs before the arbitration proceeding and making objections to evidence they believe their opponent intends to offer at trial. The actual arbitral trial begins by each side making opening statements, the presentation of witnesses for direct and cross-examination, closing arguments, and a discussion of the applicable law between the attorneys and the arbitrator. The arbitrator then takes the case under submission which means he/she takes some time, usually several weeks, to sort through the admitted documentary evidence and the testimony of the witnesses.  The arbitrator then issues a written opinion and decision.

An arbitral trial is more informal than a courtroom trial. In general, the rules of evidence are adhered to but may be relaxed on occasion with the agreement of the parties. Scheduling is more flexible and more accommodating to all persons involved. This is usually a more costly proceeding than a mediation as all parties must pay to bring their witnesses, including experts, to testify, and the trial may last for several days depending on the dispute and the number of witnesses.

When To Choose Mediation?

Alternative dispute resolution will work for almost any situation as an alternative to litigation. Think Alternative Dispute Resolution when considering the following factors:

  • Are the costs of litigation extremely high for your product liability case?
  • Are you a commercial healthcare company facing high-stakes internal disputes?
  • Is the wait for your court date untenable for your client?
  • Do you simply want to de-escalate a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Reach out today by calling 310-861-4933 or sending an email using this form.