Mediation is a natural step after deposition, especially if the parties are still in conflict following the questioning.
By bringing in a third party, mediation hopes to bring the parties together and draw a conclusion that can satisfy both parties whether it be through a settlement or balanced conditions that both parties must adhere to.
In this article, we will be looking at what a deposition is, what mediation means and how long after a deposition does mediation take place.
We’ll also delve into how to make sure your deposition and mediation are successful in the conclusion of this article if you follow the steps and tips.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of how the process works from the deposition all the way to reaching the settlement.
With any case, there is a high chance of stress and upset. Through depositions and mediation, the aim is to calmly walk both parties through the events of the case and hopefully come to a conclusion without having to add the pressure of a full trial.
Particularly with mediation where a third party is invited in to assist from an unbiased point of view, when it comes to undergoing depositions and mediation in cases such as personal injury, any additional trauma may be avoided as the injured party will be able to voice their side without the pressures of a judge.
What is a deposition?
A deposition is a testimony taken out of court and under oath. The reason for depositions is to determine whether a case needs to go to trial or if a settlement can be reached at this point.
The witness will be questioned by an attorney who can only ask questions relevant to the case. After the deposition has taken place, both parties will receive transcripts of the deposition and will analyze and debate whether a settlement should and can be reached.
What is mediation?
Mediation is when two conflicting parties come together to resolve their differences and come to a mutual agreement.
Legally, mediation is often used in all sorts of cases such as divorce where the two parties are in conflict over certain agreements such as custody of children or ownership of property or personal injury claims when the suing party and insurance company come together to come to a conclusion that will satisfy both parties.
The aim of mediation is to bring in an unbiased third party to assist the two conflicting parties come together through communication and negotiation techniques that didn’t work previously.
So what does a mediation comprise of?
There are 5 steps to a successful mediation which are: introduction, stating what the problem is, collecting the evidence and information, identifying problems from either side and concluding with negotiation and eventually a settlement will be reached.
How long after deposition is mediation?
There is no predetermined time after deposition that mediation would take place. It is entirely dependent on the outcome of the deposition and only when both parties understand what the outcome means such as the weaknesses and strengths of the case can they start mediation.
This will avoid any escalated conflict during mediation as both parties will be ready to move forward.
A mediation can only take place once the deposition is complete so it can take longer, especially if the opposing attorney requests to speak to more witnesses if they feel as though something is missing from the narrative.
Why can it take so long?
Because there is no specified amount of time before mediation takes place, it can take a long time. Scheduling is a huge factor as both parties must be able to attend.
Another reason it can take so long is if the deposition period itself has been delayed due to more witnesses being summoned and analyzing and evaluating the transcripts.
There may be conflict at the deposition period from both parties before mediation is determined. The nature of the case needs to be considered as well and the amount that is being requested to settle for.
It’s important to have a figure in mind but if the figure is ridiculously high then there is no way that the opposing party will go for that. It’s important to be realistic when deciding what amount to ask for.
When attending mediation, both parties can bring one person for support with them.
This can be really helpful as not only is the person there for moral support, but they can make the party feel more comfortable and ready to articulate their side in an environment that can potentially be uncomfortable, particularly if the party is susceptible to vulnerability.
As stated earlier in the article, there is also an increased chance that the party or parties will avoid any additional trauma as they can recount their side with the support of a friend in a safe environment without the pressure of a judge or jury.
Preparation is always the key to a successful deposition and mediation. Always knowing what you want to say and what you want to get out of the case is crucial.
This will look good to both the opposing party and the third party as it’s clear that you are taking it seriously while also suggesting you have done your research and are not susceptible to any manipulation or deposition abuse.
Knowing what you want to get out of the case in terms of settlement is also extremely important because you should be able to justify exactly why.
For example, if it is a financial settlement, you should be able to specify why you have reached that particular amount.
Does it take into consideration any medical bills or physical damage? Have you included compensation for financial distress?
If it’s a divorce settlement, are you able to justify why you should have full custody? Can you raise your concerns in a calm and articulate manner? This is all important when it comes to the deposition and mediation processes.
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