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Is Mediation of Your Case Right for You

Burdine & Brown Oct. 15, 2019

One of the most successful Mediators in Georgia is Rex Smith. He has mediated cases since 2002. By his count, he has mediated over 3000 cases of all kinds.

In an interview published in Fulton County Daily Report, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, Mr. Smith gives some of his thoughts about mediations:

  • Many lawyers thought at first that mediation would take away their “legal business” This is clearly proven not to be the case.

  • Mediations offer a lot of more options for reaching a solution rather than litigation.

  • “People need to be heard and mediation gives them an opportunity to tell their story”, he says.

Today here are over 2,600 certified Mediators in Georgia and almost every Judge in this state requires civil litigants to try mediation. This is not yet a requirement of the State Board of Workers' Compensation.

Smith states that is takes four things to settle a case:

  • Patience with each other in the process

  • Creativity-which included thinking about the case from the other side's perspective

  • Persistence

  • Be willing to compromise

I have brought my clients to a settlement mediation since 2004 and probably have done about 300 times. I have seen a lot during this time. At the right time in a client's case, mediation can be successful. There are pitfalls and some detours in the mediation process. One of the worst things I have seen is that the lawyer representing the insured person or persons does not adequately prepare for the Settlement Mediation. This is such a disservice to the injured party.

Rest assured, I prepare for a mediation like it is a trial of the case. The rewards of preparation are then just down the road.