Entries by Teddy Snyder

The Last-Minute Report

On several occasions, counsel has appeared for mediation with an expert report dated the day before. Often this attorney has not served a copy of the report on opposing counsel. Nor did the advocate attach this document to the mediation brief. What effect does this report have at mediation? I have never seen a last-minute […]

A Mediation Quiz

Find out how much you really know about mediation with this short True/False quiz. 1. Opposing parties meet together with the mediator in caucus. T/F 2. No one can use documents disclosed solely in mediation as evidence if the case does not settle. T/F 3. If parties are unable to agree on settlement terms, the mediator will decide […]

Held Hostage by a Torturous Claim? How to Escape

Do you feel like you and your clients are hostage to a claim that goes on and on? Every treatment request triggers a new round of litigation. The injury happened decades ago, and the disability percentage still has not finalized. The parties are at each other’s throats. You can use tips from professional hostage negotiators […]

Evaluating the Denied Workers Comp Claim

I recently mediated a partially denied claim where the attorney for the injured worker had no idea what the value of the future medical costs might be. It was an old dog claim, and treaters had been deposed multiple times. When a printout provides historic data, it’s pretty easy to project future expenses. Sure, parties might […]

Is Mediation Effective in Workers’ Comp?

Babe Ruth’s lifetime batting average was .342. Studies in states with a history of workers’ compensation mediation suggest your success rate with it is likely to be a whole lot better. In Florida, parties must mediate workers’ compensation claims within 130 days of the filing of a petition for benefits. Results for the fiscal year ended June […]

How to Write a Workers Compensation Mediation Brief

Why do so many advocates stumble when it comes to preparing for mediation? Perhaps the most important thing a lawyer can do to prepare for mediation is to write a brief. Done properly, the process forces the writer to focus and get ready to negotiate. But many people do it wrong, mostly by providing irrelevant and obsolete information […]

Flavors of Workplace Injuries

Workplace injury benefits come in many “flavors.” Most California workers are covered by workers compensation, administered by the state. However, federal law provides workplace injury benefits to others. A narrow definition, subject to many refinements, of these groups includes: Jones Act- maritime workers Longshore Act- dockworkers Defense Base Act – civilian employees working abroad on […]

Winning the Zero Sum Game

Value-Added Negotiating Many negotiators approach resolution as a zero sum game. Each side’s gain or loss is exactly equal to the other party’s gain or loss. Viewing the resources available as limited can obstruct getting to settlement. Particularly when one or more parties have hit their dollar authority limit, adding non-monetary benefits to the discussion creates a […]