New Law on Settlement Agreements

A new California law effective January 1, 2020 governs settlement agreement language regarding employment dismissals and rehires. An employer and employee can still agree that a settlement includes termination of employment, but the agreement cannot include language that the person is barred from re-employment. The legislative history of AB749 shows that the motive behind the law was […]

JOY TO THE WORLD – LAW PARTNERS’ YEAR-END MEETING

Joy to The world! Year-end has come, Accounting has totaled the fees. Let ev’ry heart prepare him room And all of the partners sing And all of the partners sing And all, all of the partners sing Joy to the world! The year was good, And now divide the spoils. Misters Fields and Floods have […]

Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men

You’re sure to hear this phrase repeatedly in December. What are you doing to make it happen? Most readers of this message are professionals charged with managing disputes. You may spend a considerable amount of time strategizing how to annul the opposing party’s claims. That’s appropriate. It’s your job. But what practically every party involved […]

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 […]

Are You A Courageous Negotiator?

Merriam Webster defines courage as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. The easy way to litigate is to react to catalysts from outside sources, such as the court, opposing counsel, or a medical emergency. The courageous negotiator is proactive. That includes knowing how to push a claim to […]

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 […]