Mediation Phases

Like the moon, mediation proceeds in phases. Here’s a primer on what happens when. Phase 1: Investigation The first phase of a mediation consists of fact gathering and defining the issues. When the parties provide exhaustive briefs, time spent on fact-finding may be minimal. We can quickly pin down which facts and issues the parties agree […]

Documenting the Mediated Agreement

Almost all of my mediations end with agreement to a Compromise and Release. Parties often bring a partially completed Compromise & Release form, DWC-CA form 10214(c), to the mediation. That’s great. But when considerations prevent execution of a final agreement at the mediation, a Memorandum of Understanding, known as an M.O.U., can be invaluable. What Is It After […]

What’s Wrong With Telephone Negotiation?

A litigation analysis found that lawyers used telephone negotiation in 72% of the cases studied resulting in settlement only 35% of the time. That means that phone negotiation sessions or other settlement processes had to be used multiple times to get to settlement. We can assume that repetition resulted in a loss of time and […]

3 Ways to Evaluate Future Medical Care

Evaluating future medical care is usually the most challenging component for parties trying to settle a workers compensation claim by Compromise & Release. If your crystal ball is in the shop for repairs, try one of these methods. Medicare Set-Aside You don’t need a Medicare Set-Aside for claims outside the review thresholds, but claims professionals […]

Turn Workers Comp Straw Into Gold

Remember the story of Rumpelstiltskin, a little man who could turn straw into gold? The mediation process does the same thing. When provided with the basic ingredients, the mediator can create gold: a win-win settlement. But the parties have to provide the “straw”:   An Open Mind One reason a case stays open may be that parties are not paying […]

Privacy Issues When Predators Cause Comp Claims

In the #MeToo and #TimesUp era, employees may be more ready to assert sexual aggression claims than in the past. These situations could lead to a workers compensation claim, a civil suit or even criminal proceedings. Privacy is an issue in each setting, but only in comp is the claims professional engaged in the victim’s medical treatment. Privacy […]

Mediate to Comply with this Regulation

Ready to file that DOR?  Not so fast. If you can’t show you tried to settle, you may be wasting everyone’s time. Mediation Shows Readiness 8 CCR §10414(d) requires that “All declarations of readiness to proceed shall state under penalty of perjury that the moving party has made a genuine, good faith effort to resolve […]

New Year, New You? It’s Your Decision

“New year, new you.” How many times have we heard that one? Yet, the same problems that vexed us in December are still there in January. You may be planning to lose weight, save money, or spend more time with family. But what are you doing about a new approach to resolve your ugliest workers […]