Frequently Asked Questions

At what stage can parties mediate a case or arbitrate a case?

Parties may agree to mediate a case long before it is even a case; they can agree to mediate a claim or a problem or a dispute at any time they want to do so. Similarly, they can agree at any time they want to, to arbitrate a dispute to try to seek resolution in […]

How does an arbitration proceed?

Arbitrations proceed by the parties all appearing before an arbitrator, that third-party impartial decision maker, usually at the arbitrator’s offices. Before that hearing starts, there probably would have been a preliminary conference, by telephone or in more complex cases by a meeting in person with the arbitrator. At the arbitration, witnesses are introduced, just as […]

How does the mediation process work?

The mediation process works by the parties to a case, and each of the principal decision makers for each side, and each of the attorneys for each side, going to a neutral location. That neutral location is usually the mediator’s office. Mediators are specially trained to listen, sensitize themselves to the issues and bring the […]

Is trial a scary experience?

No! By the time trial is scheduled and then held, you will be as comfortable as possible with your case, your lawyer and the court process. We meet often, answered interrogatories, prepared for your deposition by the other lawyers and then attended the deposition. We discuss step by step what is involved with the trial […]

Must I try my case if I have been injured by someone else?

No, the short answer is no. Every case can, if the parties are willing, be settled. A settlement occurs when a defendant at last offers that amount of money which makes it more worthwhile for a plaintiff to resolve the case than to take the risk of trying the case. A good settlement sometimes has […]

What are Damages?

Damages are that amount of money which a judge or jury determine would fully and fairly compensate, not punish a defendant and not reward a claimant, but compensate a claimant for injury or harm suffered as a result of the wrongdoer’s negligence. Damages customarily include reimbursement for the fair and reasonable medical bills and charges, […]

What are the elements of a negligence case?

The Court typically instructs a jury with regard to a negligence case that there are four elements and that the plaintiff has the burden to prove each of the four elements. The plaintiff is the one who brings a case. Those elements are the existence of a duty of care which is a question of law […]

What is “Comparative Negligence”?

“Comparative negligence” is a legal doctrine by which a jury or a judge assesses the degree of negligence of a plaintiff, vis-à-vis each of the actual defendants in a lawsuit. If a plaintiff is 51% at fault vis-à-vis all the defendants, the plaintiff recovers nothing. To the extent the plaintiff is 50% or less comparatively […]

What is alternative dispute resolution?

Alternative dispute resolution takes several forms. It is an alternative to the traditional form of dispute resolution, which is simply to permit a judge or a jury to make the final decision.  The alternative dispute resolution procedure which facilitates settlements is called mediation. It is a method in part of facilitating discussion of a case’s merits and […]

What is Negligence?

Negligence is the failure on the part of a person or a company to live up to the standards of care owed by each and every one of us to ourselves and to others; it is known as the reasonable man standard and people are expected to live up to the standard of care of […]

What is the purpose of the tort system or a negligence system?

The purpose of the tort system is to permit the Court, as an impartial fact finder, to see that compensation is provided to an individual who has been wronged or injured by the negligent or careless activity of another person. There may not be a contract between the people or between someone and a company, […]