Domina Law Group pc llo prides itself at preparing cases for trial in court. We do this often. David Domina’s trial experience, alone, includes an estimated 350 presentations to juries.
But, sometimes a case ends in mediation. For many lawyers, mediation is the goal, and the case is directed toward that effort. For Domina Law Group pc llo clients, mediation is an alternative to trial. It is a consideration along the way. We believe the best mediation results comes from, and because of, focus on trial.
During the first half of 2011, our trial presentations include a medical malpractice claim involving a traumatic birth injury, a contract claim involving construction, a medical malpractice claim involving psychiatric care, a commercial delivery of goods case, and a claim for personal injuries. Our mediation presentations include multiple wrongful death claims, medical malpractice, commercial disputes, construction issues, and a complex matter in a specialized court.
We resolved matters in mediation that were in court for only a few weeks, and one matter, which came to us in progress, which traveled to the State Supreme Court three times, and was in court nearly a dozen years in three different lawsuits. Mediation was possible only because we resolved part of this complex litigation before a jury.
We have presented several cases in court without juries, too. Our non-jury trial practice includes services to a professional person facing loss of licensure, an aged family dispute involving trust contests, and another aged family dispute involving land, and perhaps the most complex personal bankruptcy in recent Nebraska history. We were called into these as they were in progress to conclude them.
Our mediation efforts are little known. This is the inherent nature of mediation. It happens in a conference room generally after a case is filed and after some, and sometimes much, discovery occurs. Mediation involves voluntary participation and voluntary exchanges of relevant information. A good mediator gathers the parties at one location, requires decision makers to be present, and conducts the mediation process in a thoughtful civilized way, avoiding most of the confrontation and clash of the courtroom.
Our practice is to carefully prepare and submit mediation papers. Thumbnail case descriptions, followed by summations of relevant pleadings, descriptions of legal theories identifying key legal authorities, and supplemental displays of critical evidence only are given to the mediator to assist with preparation.
At mediation, our prepared clients participate with the benefit of our consultation and assistance. Ultimately, they make the choice. We provide guidance as requested.
Where appropriate our clients were aided in the choice to resolve cases during mediation. Each time they enjoyed the benefit of awareness that their lawyers were prepared for trial, willing and eager to proceed, and enjoy a reputation for accepting, whether favorable or not, the outcome of the legal process.
Mediation is a valuable part of the dispute resolution system. It supplements trial practice, but should never supplant it in case planning, preparation, or in one’s sense of what options exist to resolve issues.