My name is Jeff Hoffman. Over the past 40 years, I have represented both plaintiffs and defendants, individuals and companies, in a wide variety of disputes. I have been involved in hundreds of mediations over the years. One thing I have discovered is that the mediation process works, even in cases I thought had no chance of being resolved. I also know that even if an initial mediation attempt fails, good mediators don’t give up. With patience and sometimes “thinking outside of the box,” even the most unlikely matters can be resolved.
To schedule a mediation with Jeff Hoffman, please check the calendar on the “Availability” menu. Once you identify an available time and date that works for your schedule(s), please submit your proposed date and time through the “Schedule a Mediation” menu. Once we confirm availability, we will send you a confirmation email along with the rules of mediation and an invoice.
MEDIATION: IS IT JUST ABOUT THE MONEY?
I have attended hundreds of mediations, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. At the end of the day, whether the mediation was successful or not depended upon whether the plaintiff was willing to accept the amount of money the defendant was willing to pay. From the plaintiff’s perspective, there is always the fear that you are leaving money on the table. From the defendant’s perspective there is always the fear that you are overpaying on a case. Success occurs when the parties come to a common agreement that the risk of further litigation is outweighed by the certainty of a proposed resolution. So, is it just about the money?
While money is the currency that drives most settlements, overcoming the combined fears and resentments of the parties (and often their lawyers) to reach “yes” involves a host of issues. Sometimes those issues are monetary (past medical expenses, future lost earnings), but often the issues are also emotional (fairness, justice, vindication, revenge) or involve complicated legal considerations (insurance coverage, statutory construction, case law, experience) that transcend purely monetary issues while ultimately driving the monetary evaluation of each party.
Mediation is a process of facilitated negotiation. The mediator serves the role of a neutral facilitator, exploring with each party the perceived strengths and weaknesses of each party’s respective positions and weighing the risks and rewards of settlement vs. continued litigation and trial. That process involves much more than simply “trading numbers.” It involves analyzing both the monetary and non-monetary issues which are driving the evaluations of each party. It also involves sharing as much non-confidential information as possible with each party so they understand what is driving the evaluation “in the other room.” That process is what makes mediation so successful. That is how I try to approach every mediation; because I believe that is how parties can get to “yes” on a proposed resolution to their dispute.