Jonathan Margolis was a successful defense attorney for many years before devoting his practice full time to the mediation of complex litigation. He is one of the best-known and most successful mediators of complex construction cases. We asked Jon a couple of questions that should be of interest to the parties on both sides of a construction case.
Jon: “An imminent trial date hugely influences the mediation process. In fact, it is probably the single biggest factor that aids a mediator in settling a case. The cost, risks and uncertainty associated with a trial, as well as the clients' concern about the amount of time that they will have to spend in court, are issues that almost always are significant enough to drive a case to settlement. Additionally, when trial is imminent, the real decision makers usually are involved in the negotiation process.”
Jon: “A firm's overall reputation, as well as its reputation for ability and willingness to try a case, is important in the settlement process. This applies not only just before trial, but also throughout the case. Counsels' demeanor, cooperativeness (or lack thereof) and approach to settlement are the main factors in whether a case settles early or not. As trial approaches, the opposing counsel's perception of whether his opponent is prepared and willing to try the case becomes more significant.”
Jon: “The Judge's approach to the trial process as a whole is yet another huge factor in the settlement process. Judges who are known to have trial dates that are set in stone, and do not typically respond favorably to requests to continue, place tremendous pressure on the parties and counsel whether the Judge actually involves himself in settlement discussions or not. The timetable the Judge follows for the trial, for example with pre-trial motions or the trial day schedule, can also place pressure on the parties. Many trial judges repeatedly encourage the parties to continue settlement discussions with the mediator or Special Master. And of course some judges are very good at the settlement process itself.”
Summer is upon us, so let's take a dive into a hot issue: can the association open its pool?
COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders have had a huge impact on association and management company operations.
Do We Finally Have an Answer to the Age Old Question? (maybe...)
As one of the largest and most experienced construction defect litigation departments in the nation, we have recovered over $1.5 billion for our clients.
The content on this website is strictly to provide information and neither the content nor transmissions through this website are intended to provide legal or other advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.