THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE
As most of you may know, approximately two percent of all lawsuits ever go to trial. The other 98 percent are resolved along the way, often in mediation.
Approximately 100,000,000 lawsuits are filed annually in the United States in all state courts, of which 70,000,000± or so are criminal cases, including traffic tickets, and the other 30,000,000± are civil cases. What the arbitration and mediation system does however, is to allow the disputes to be resolved by the parties early on and with less expense and helps to eliminate much of the legal maze.
The Objective of Rules in mediation states: "The proper objective of rules of civil procedure is to obtain just, fair, equitable and impartial adjudication of the rights of litigants under established principles of substantive law. To the end that this objective may be attained with as great expedition and dispatch and at the least expense both to the litigants and to the state as may be practicable, these rules shall be given a liberal construction."
On December 1, 1993, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure took effect. Rule 1 was amended to require that the rules be construed and "administered" to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action. This is to emphasize the obligation of court and counsel to help reduce the cost and delay in litigation.
The role of Mediator is an important one, especially to Westcon members dealing with forensics. At our April meeting, we are pleased to welcome Westcon honorary members and Special Masters John Griffiths and Bill Nagle, two mediators who specialize in construction litigation.
Mr. Griffiths and Mr. Nagle will be able to share their side of the settlement table with Westcon members giving highlights of their favorite or more memorable cases. It is hoped that they will be able to assist members in better understanding what a Special Master and Mediator is looking for, and looking at, when a case is presented by using examples of past cases where possible.
The opportunity is here for us as experts on our side of the table, to
informally bridge the gap and better understand the objectives and reasoning
of the special masters as they perform their role as mediators, seeking
an acceptable settlement between parties.
The content of this meeting will rely largely on audience questions and
participation. So give some thought to taking advantage of this situation
with "what you always wanted to know and never before have been able to
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