In the past 15+ years, Mr. Ivary has mediated over 1,000 cases involving:
Served as Judge Pro Tem for the Superior Courts for three Bay Area Counties since 1989.
Mediator for the United States District Court ADR Program in the fields of Employment, Federal civil rights, Medical Malpractice, ERISA, ADA, Maritime and Federal Tort claims.
Panelist for all the Alameda County Settlement Programs (since 1985).
Panelist for the Contra Costa County Courts programs (since 1991).
Panelist for San Mateo County Courts MAP Program (since 2008).
Panelist for Santa Clara County Court
Experience has taught me to do what works and not get too caught up in theory or the academic side of mediation. My goal is to get the case in a position where the parties can see a clear path to settlement.
My approach varies because no two cases are alike. For example, an employment case can be very sensitive to the parties involved as can a police misconduct case or a medical malpractice case. Probably the best way to describe my approach to mediation is to be sure that the parties are dealing with their REAL case, not the one they wish they had. This often involves asking both sides questions, sometimes uncomfortable ones. (The tough questions are asked in separate sessions).
When parties request I will become very active in their negotiations. For a full explanation of my mediation style and philosophy, please download an article I wrote for the SFTLA magazine. It can be found at the ADR website (www.adrservices.com). Although originally written as a practical guide for the plaintiff’s bar, it also tells the defense how I approach mediation.
My assumption in mediation is that the parties are there to get their case settled, not just have a discussion or use the process as a discovery vehicle. I view the process as a “time out” from the litigation and an opportunity to identify the REAL case.
I work with little formality. As long as the attorneys agree, anyone can speak, not just the lawyers. I insist on civility but I am very sensitive to what the parties themselves want the process to be.
I discourage “opening statements” and oral arguments. My theory is that the briefs should adequately cover the parties’ legal positions and opening statements and arguments only reinforce entrenched positions and don’t help settle cases.
In my opinion, mediation should not resemble what we experience in court. Trial is always an option if you don’t settle your case. I don’t try to tell the defense about the “cost of defense” or tell the plaintiffs that they “might lose their case”.
“Eric Ivary is a fantastic neutral and always works very hard to get cases settled. He is prepared and knows how to engage both sides in a productive way to push the case toward resolution.”
“I have utilized Eric Ivary’s mediation services on a several cases. He has been a valuable asset to the mediation process. He works diligently with both sides to get cases resolved and, most importantly, he does not give up. His preparation and continued persistence are key distinguishing attributes that help him resolve very difficult cases. Mr. Ivary is respected by both defense and plaintiffs’ attorneys because we all respect his experience, drive and persistence.”