In my almost 40 years of practice, I have found that I agree with Abraham Lincoln who once said,
“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.”
In the case of a recent Product Liability Lawsuit, which our firm obtained on April 17th, 2019, I associated counsel in Ohio to collect the default judgment in the Ohio court. During an appearance in court on September 3, 2019, counsel for the defendant accepted a previous offer to mediate the judgement instead of litigation in the Virginia and Ohio courts regarding issues raised by the defendant’s attorneys, all the parties decided “to talk about it in litigation.”
As in most cases with any significant upside or downside, mediation can be an effective answer.
Mediation is an area of practice with which I have been engaged since the mid 80’s when, as a Deputy Commissioner at the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, I joined the joint committee of the Virginia State Bar and the Virginia Bar Association regarding Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Primarily, among the alternatives to litigation in court, is mediation. Mediation is the most widely used and most successful way for the parties themselves to come to terms with the case with regard to both issues and compensation.
The mediator is less a “judge” and more a facilitator who helps both sides compromise while looking at common interests which can get litigants past the obstacles which can cause lengthy litigation. I have been a long-time advocate of mediation as a tool to avoid litigation for the past 35 years.
In the recent Product Liability Lawsuit, as in the majority of the other cases which I have tried or settled in the past 40 years, mediation may very well be the tool that is needed for the Ohio company and its counsel, the local Virginia counsel, and the defendant’s liability insurance company, and my injured worker to resolve this case, without undue time spent and without the needless expense of litigation.
I will keep those who view my website fully informed on the outcome of our attempts to mediate the issues, which have risen in this case since we obtained the judgment on April of 2019.
E. Wayne Powell, P.C.