We have extensive experience mediating a wide variety of disputes, specializing in the mediated settlement of LITIGATED BUSINESS CASES and LITIGATED CONSUMER CASES
When disputes erupt between strategic partners, suppliers, or competitors, a skilled mediator can save businesses time, money, and energy in the ADR process. We help businesses settle their disputes by focusing upon critical issues, interests and needs of the participants without the tremendous expense of scorched earth litigation. Because many business disputes involve parties who will continue to do business going forward, whenever possible, we assist the parties in crafting a clear and concise framework to resolve future disputes. Mediation offers creativity and problem solving that litigation and arbitration do not.
“Mr. Tessier is a fantastic Mediator. Robert mediated a complicated premises liability claim during 2 different sessions. He never gave up during the negotiations and continued to encourage the parties even when there seemed to be an impasse. I highly recommend Robert Tessier as a mediator and I will certainly use his services again.
Brian Breiter, Esq.
Construction cases are essentially breach of contract cases made complicated by the presence of numerous parties including owners, developers, general contractors, sub-contractors, insurance carriers and sureties, and experts retained for the litigation. While complex issues of law may arise, what is often needed is expertise in managing the multiple fact issues and multiplicity of parties, since each case is an umbrella under which many mini-cases are assembled and often must be separately resolved.
Employment cases are usually heavily disputed as to the facts, and lots of legal theories are usually brought forth, both state and federal. In addition, these cases can be very emotional on both sides calling for a good deal of knowledge, tact, and skill on the part of the mediator.
ENTERTAINMENT AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
The law in this field is becoming increasingly complicated. What used to be essentially breach of contract cases are now often heavily implicated in intellectual property issues. In addition, this is a field in which personalities can play a large part. All this can present challenges to the attempt to achieve resolution, yet it is often not in the parties’ interests to risk the uncertainties (and publicity) of trial.
HOMEOWNERS DISPUTES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CLAIMS
These can take many forms. The HOA may be in dispute with an association member or a contractor or an insurance carrier, or a combination of these. Legal issues are commonplace and personality conflicts are the rule rather than the exception. A firm but delicate touch coming from a neutral place can often overcome months even years of tangled relationships, resulting in resolutions that everyone can live with.
Whether a personal or business relationship, these are emotionally difficult as well as often involving complicated legal issues.
PERSONAL INJURY CASES
Tort litigation negotiations are generally zero-sum in character, in which it is seldom possible to explore underlying interests, and this is so for several reasons. The majority of personal injury cases are taken on the plaintiff’s side on a contingency fee basis. The parties are nearly always complete strangers. The only interest the defendant has is in concluding the matter with the least expense possible. That means that the positions of each side are diametrically opposed.
Negotiation in these cases always involves calculation of risk. Some people are sophisticated in their estimation of risk, while others do it fairly unconsciously, but in calculating an acceptable settlement amount, everyone takes into consideration the possibility of doing worse at trial. This is because damages for pain and suffering are hard to calculate and jury verdicts differ widely.
In order to avoid the uncertainty of a worse outcome, each side is often prepared to buy a kind of insurance policy by paying a premium intended to free them from the risk of a worst result. The difference between what the plaintiff thinks a case is worth and the amount the plaintiff is willing to accept may be thought of as an insurance premium. The difference between what the defendant thinks a case is worth and the amount the defendant is willing to pay may likewise be thought of as a premium.
REAL ESTATE CASES
Often significant legal issues arise that can have an important effect on the outcome of the dispute. While the mediator does not need a treatise, an outline of the legal theories is always helpful together with any particular cases on which you rely so that the mediator can read them before the mediation. Whereas in PI cases the facts are often wildly disputed, in real estate matters this is not so often the case but the interpretation put on those facts by the parties is greatly at odds. Furthermore, people are extremely attached to their real estate, in an emotional way and by the time this gets into a mediated dispute, all participants may be quite angry and extremely stubborn, often against their own best interest. The mediator can be helpful in cooling passions and in helping the participants arrive at a rational resolution to the benefit of all concerned.
“He is wise who tries everything before arms.”
Omnia prius experiri quam armis sapietem decet.
Terence Eunuchus ca.165 B.C.