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While every case in litigation or arbitration should be prepared and pursued in anticipation of a trial on the merits, the fact is that the vast majority of formal legal disputes will be resolved by some means other than a trial on the merits.  Most cases (if not dismissed based on a motion or for procedural reasons) will be resolved by settlement. Mediation is a process by which many settlements are reached.

Many litigants enter the litigation or arbitration fray carried by emotion and feeling a need for vindication about a wrongdoing.  Years and tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars later (in legal expense), an outcome obtained by a trial may be no better than, or perhaps less than, what could be accomplished in a single day of mediation.  The practical considerations of dispute resolution almost always warrant careful evaluation of mediation as an alternative to resolve a dispute.

Hamil Little assists medical practices and physicians in resolving legal disputes before or after a formal legal dispute is filed (whether in the context of litigation or arbitration) through the mediation process.

What is “Mediation”?

Mediation is the process by which parties to a dispute agree to attempt to resolve the dispute with the assistance of a neutral, third-party known as the “mediator.”  In nearly all mediations, it is imperative that both sides of the mediation agree that the mediator is neutral and has extensive experience resolving disputes through mediation and, preferably, knowledge of the subject matter or nature of the dispute.  The parties typically agree to split the mediator’s costs and designate a day (or multiple days) to “mediate” their dispute with the mediator’s assistance through dialogue and, ultimately, a negotiated, offer and acceptance process.

Is Mediation always successful?

No.  But often, if not most of the time, it is. Certainly, in our firm’s experience, the vast majority of mediated cases settle at the mediation or within a short time thereafter.  Mediation allows parties to view what is a “win” differently. A win is often finding the best, most effective and practical (albeit compromised) way to conclude the dispute. Once the parties see this, often it becomes much easier and much more likely to conclude the dispute successfully.

What is the key to “winning” in Mediation?

Preparation.  Mediation should be approached methodically with a heavy emphasis on mastery of the facts.  While the law is always important, the ultimate resolution of most legal disputes is heavily fact driven.  A good mediator, though neutral, will need to be educated about the factual details and nuances so that he or she is compelled and genuinely appreciates your client’s position. Armed with a rich understanding of the facts that bolster your side of the dispute, a mediator will necessarily be more compelling in presenting your proposals to the opponent. To accomplish this, your counsel must invest the time required to properly present factual details to the mediator.  There is no substitute for extensive preparation where the presentation of a legal dispute and advocacy for a desired outcome are concerned.

Our health law firm represents medical practices, physicians and health services businesses in mediation of employment matters, business and corporate disputes, and other types of disputes.

Let’s Discuss Your Legal Dispute

Hamil Little represents healthcare providers in legal disputes.  We have extensive experience mediating a variety of business and employment-related disputes. To schedule a consultation, contact us or email us at

Disclaimer: Thoughts shared here do not constitute legal advice. Please consult with an attorney to discuss your legal issue.

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