Mediation is the process of bringing two parties together to resolve a dispute or conflict. In law, mediation is used as a tool to help settle cases by bringing the two (or more) parties together. Mediation is conducted by a professional called a mediator. Often times, mediators are retired judges or retired lawyers, however, mediators come from all walks of life. A mediator must undergo training and certification prior to being allowed to mediate. Additionally, there are mediators that can only handle county claims and others that can handle circuit court or federal claims. The dividing line between county and circuit court is a sum in conflict of up to $ 15,000.00 or greater. F.S. 34.01(1)(c).
Mediation is a great tool if your attorney knows how to use it because it allows the attorney to negotiate with the other side. A wise man once told me, that if both parties leave neither completely happy or completely upset then a good deal was reached. The entire purpose is a compromise from both sides of the table to resolve a dispute or conflict prior to a case going into a jury trial.
Mediation can also be a wake-up call to personal injury clients who overvalue their case but it can also be a situation where an insurance company purposefully low balls to see if you will cut bait. It is important to have an attorney that has handled mediation before. This is because many personal injury cases will eventually resolve in this manner. It is important to remember that mediation and arbitration are two separate and distinct processes.