May 30, 2020
WLALA – Making Virtual Mediation A Reality: A Primer for Women Lawyers of Los Angeles
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice said: “You can’t have it all at once. Over my lifespan, I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time, things were rough.” In the midst of the Corona virus pandemic, all of us are experiencing those “rough times”; however, there are silver linings. The explosion of virtual dispute resolution may forever change our capabilities of settling our most difficult cases in ways that are convenient for clients and their lawyers who cannot travel to a mediation office on a particular date or to a remote location.
Persuading Your Clients and Opposing Counsel to Proceed with a Virtual mediation:
In every litigated (or pre-litigation) case, there comes an awkward moment when you or your opposing counsel confer about the option of pursuing an “alternative” to the hardscrabble litigation route towards settlement of the case. That typically leads to a conversation about choice of mediation, in some cases arbitration or informal settlement discussions. In turn, that leads to a discussion of optimal timing (before too much has been expended in costs and fees, but after enough discovery has been conducted that both sides are adequately armed to fairly evaluate the case). The parties typically then begin the process of choosing a mediator in whom they have confidence can help achieve an acceptable settlement. Now there is another discussion that will, I predict, present itself in every future mediation: will the mediation be face to face or is virtual mediation preferable.