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When Is the Optimal Time to Hire a Mediator to Help Resolve Your Case?

Glasner Employment Law & Mediation Team

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”

— Abraham Lincoln, Notes for a Law Lecture, 1850

No matter which side you’re on, in the vast majority of situations, the best practice is to settle early and informally. Pre-trial costs for investigation, depositions, and expert witnesses easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars—even more in complex cases. And hourly fees to pay your lawyers mount rapidly as a case advances to trial.

For many individual plaintiffs, months, if not years, of angst and mental preoccupation combined with increased litigation costs and stepped contingency fees eat into the real value of a verdict.

But before mediating, get informed. Invest resources early and efficiently, evaluating damages, available evidence, and risk.

There are cases that must be tried, of course. I’ll cover that topic in a future blog. But in most lawsuits, pressure points surface, opportune moments when both sides are ready to come to the table and negotiate in good faith.

Look for signs that your opponent is acting reasonably–an unexpected reduction in hostility, better manners, a friendly concession. Status conferences and hearings on dispositive motions, summary judgment motions, in particular, open windows to the settlement process.

And don’t be afraid to be the first to offer mediation. It’s not a sign of weakness. You will not lose face. You won’t appear desperate. The opposite tends to be true, in my experience. The side suggesting mediation looks informed, confident, and in control.

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Mr. Glasner has been a mentor to young lawyers, training them in negotiating skills, and the factors that derail the resolution process or lead to mutually beneficial settlements.

Kevin Rehwald, Partner

Mr. Glasner brings extensive experience, a unique perspective and peacemaking skills to his Colorado mediation practice. For 27-years, he was with Rehwald Glasner & Chaleff, a leading boutique firm in north L.A. County. He mediated over 400 employment, business, wage and hour, elder & child abuse...

Daniel Chaleff, Kevin Rehwald

Larry is a highly respected...He is known not only for his legal skills but for his integrity as well as compassion for his clients.

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Lawrence helped me negotiate an employment contract. His depth of knowledge on the subject, his care and concern for my needs, as well as his ability to bring fair terms to both sides swiftly, made him exceptional to work with. 10/10 would absolutely recommend to a friend!

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