Mediator Jeffrey Downey handles mediation and arbitration between parties involved in legal disputes. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where the parties negotiate with the assistance of a third party neural or mediator. With over 30 years of litigation experience, Mr. Downey has defended cases for insurance companies and prosecuted civil cases for Plaintiffs. He has a broad range of experience handling cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice, commercial disputes, contract claims, antitrust and elder neglect and abuse.
- The Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey offers competitive pricing, with rates starting at only $350 an hour.
- Downey is located in Fairfax Virginia but can travel out of state for any mediation. He is admitted to practice law in Virginia, Washington DC. Maryland and New York.
- The firm can set up zoom mediations at no extra costs, to mediate or arbitrate disputes involving multiple parties in different locations.
- Downey can offer evaluative services, where he gives a reasonable estimate of the potential value of the case, when it may assist the parties in coming to a compromise.
- If the mediation does not result in a settlement on the day of the mediation, Mr. Downey will continue to work with the parties to reach a resolution.
How to conduct a successful mediation to reach your goals.
A mediator acts as a neutral party to facilitate communications between two adverse litigants, in an attempt to reach an acceptable compromise. A successful mediation depends on a variety of factors, most of which are summarized below:
- The parties must come to the mediation with an open mind and willingness to hear the other side’s position and compromise on the key issues. Each party must be committed to the goal of resolving the case with finality.
- The parties must have an accurate and realistic understanding of the potential case value should the case move forward to trial. While you may think that your case is worth a million dollars, you need an accurate understanding as to the probable value that a judge or jury will put on the case. That understanding should also take into consideration the litigation costs, which in today’s world can involve the expenditure of tens of thousands of dollars in expert fees, deposition transcripts and attorney’s fees.
- In a personal injury or malpractice case, the Defendant must have insurance or proceeds sufficient to cover any settlement. This can be an issue where an insurer has issued a reservation of rights letter, indicating that no insurance is applicable. In such cases, it is also important that the Plaintiff’s attorney has information regarding any potential liens that may apply to the case, including Medicare, Medicaid and third-party ERISA liens. If the lien is significant, it should be addressed before the mediation.
- If mediation involves personal issues, it’s important to keep your emotions out of the process. Attacks on the other side typically result in the parties becoming more entrenched in their position. A dispassionate and thorough consideration of the other sides’ positions will increase the chances for a successful outcome.
- The parties should be familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of their case and be ready to negotiate based on those factors. In most cases that comes down to being familiar with the evidence, whether it be medical records, contracts, or other relevant documents.
- The parties must be willing to share information with the other side. If your goal is to surprise the other side at trial with some smoking-gun fact, then mediation is probably not for you. However, given the broad scope of civil discovery, most times critical evidence is going to be discovered. If you fail to disclose it to the other side, the non-disclosing party risks the possibility that the evidence will be excluded by the trial court. For mediation to be effective, both sides must be willing to disclose all the important facts that bear on liability and damages.
Call to arrange a Mediation or Arbitration today:
The Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey
8300 Greensboro Drive, Suite 500
McLean, Virginia 22102