Monthly Archives: June 2015

Determine When Should a Case Go To a Personal Injury Mediator

If you have a client who has been in a car accident recently, you should consult with a Houston personal injury mediator to determine whether mediation is a better venue. Personal injury cases that go to litigation are notoriously complex and lengthy, but your client may be interested in arriving at a solution much sooner. He or she may wish to put the accident behind him or her altogether and focus instead on the future. Numerous challenges might demonstrate to you that it’s worth the effort or time you’d need to put into crafting a case, especially if the potential damages are low.

When potential damages are minor but still large enough to present a financial burden to one party, mediation makes sense. Either attorney might recognize this and suggest that the conflict be mediated instead. This gives both parties the opportunity to walk through their side of the story without the added expenses of a great deal of time in court. Having to comply with court procedure could drag out a resolution and influence the perceived value of a damage award for both the plaintiff and the defendant.

If you have clients who have large enough potential damage awards to fight for, but not large enough to make it worth filing a lawsuit and foregoing a lot of the decision-making power, an alternative method like mediation presents a clear option for ending the dispute. The same consideration applies to the attorney who represents the defendants.

Why Should Contract Disputes Go Through Mediation?

Rather than allowing the issue to escalate to litigation, many attorneys are advising their clients about the potential results available through mediation. For a number of Houston contract disputes, it makes sense to recommend this alternative to your clients. Unfortunately, litigation is not the best solution for everyone, but thankfully there are other options.

As an attorney, the evidence for your client’s case might not be strong enough to make it worth his or her while to head into court. Or perhaps the client is not interested in paying for your time over what could turn out to be a lengthy process in court. This is where you should consider presenting the option of mediation instead.

Contract disputes are often over one or two key issues, and these typically do not always require the insight of a judge to determine a solution. Solutions in court are also limited, and one or both parties could walk away with an outcome they don’t want or weren’t expecting. Rather than gamble on a potentially bad outcome, your client may be better off trying to work with the other party in mediation. With more flexibility and a higher likelihood that the issue can be resolved in much less time, mediation is an obvious choice for many contract dispute cases. Although the law has specific remedies available for contract conflicts, mediation gives the parties an opportunity to generate something tied more closely to their needs.

What Kinds of Cases Does a Construction Mediator Help With?

Construction is its own complex industry with norms, rules, and construction-specific issues at play. That’s why retaining a Houston construction mediator ensures that you’re working with someone who understands the complicated nature of most claims and uses his or her insight to help navigate possible solutions.

With so many opportunities for a dispute to arise, there are many different kinds of conflict that might be aided by the experience of a construction mediator. Some of the most common causes of disputes in this industry include:

  • Subcontractor claims
  • Home sale contracts,
  • Change orders,
  • Construction defects,
  • Quality control items,
  • Architectural design issues,
  • Joint Ventures,
  • Construction project supervision and
  • Scheduling/timing concerns.

A construction mediator does not only have to be included in the dispute process after one or both parties intend to file a lawsuit. In fact, a mediator might participate in weekly update meetings or meet with the parties’ onsite to help stop a dispute before it escalates.

Intervening early with a Houston construction mediator allows a project to proceed with minimal interruptions and increases the chances that expectations are managed clearly and defined correctly. This can also be valuable for ensuring that timelines are set and achieved realistically, helping to avoid one of the most common causes of construction disputes. You may wish to suggest construction mediation to your client early on in the dispute.

Top Three Tips to Resolve Houston Trade Secret Dispute

Mediation is more likely to be successful when you’re prepared for it properly. What follows are some of the top tips for getting your client ready for mediation when you are involved in a Houston trade secret dispute. Doing your homework ahead of time and knowing what to expect can prove extremely valuable.

Work on Some Level of Trust

By definition, trade secret disputes often have roots in lack of trust. Being successful in mediation, though, requires that both parties are willing to come to the table to discuss potential outcomes. Having an agreement that both parties will act in good faith could set the right tone for this process. Prepare your client for this.

Explain The Appropriate Trade Secret Definition To Your Client

You should always be aware of what’s actually considered a trade secret in your area. Reviewing relevant case law and making sure your case fits this definition (or not, depending on your role in the dispute) can help address concerns upfront and either move resolution along or cause the other party to realize a possible lack of legal standing.

Have Your Client Bring Evidence

Make sure you have your evidence, which should be collected fully before your client engages in the actual mediation process. Keep it organized so that it’s simple to reference or locate the pertinent data in the mediation session. This alone makes the conversations move more quickly towards resolution.