Dispute Resolution Services
Attorney Porter is a trained mediator under Mass Gen. Laws c. 233, sec. 23C, and has mediated and negotiated settlements in hundreds of cases including labor and employment, general commercial disputes, construction litigation, personal injury and property damage, bankruptcy, and intellectual property matters. Settlements in those cases have ranged from a few thousand to several million dollars. Because of the depth and breadth of his experience, Attorney Porter can be highly evaluative in his analysis of the case. He helps parties properly value their potential exposure. He also provides a careful analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of their claims and defenses.
Attorney Porter has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in those matters, so he understands the particular concerns that each side of the dispute bring to the negotiating table. Sometimes negotiations can be dispassionate, and really come down to a business decision over the value of settlement versus going forward. Other times, it can be highly emotional, particularly in employment and personal injury cases, and it is essential to address those subjective feelings. Each case is different, and requires a slightly different approach, depending on the particular concerns of the parties.
Many times when a party is sued, or files a lawsuit, they want their “day in court” and a chance to vindicate themselves. That is certainly understandable, especially when they are being accused of some serious wrongdoing, or when they feel they have been hurt. So they want someone in authority, whether it is a judge or a jury, to hear their case and tell them they were right. The problem with our legal system is that it almost never does that, which can be extremely frustrating. A plaintiff might get a verdict or judgment in their favor, or a defendant might get a case dismissed, but in most instances, they still walk away feeling like they were never completely heard and their grievances were not completed resolved. Even worse, the process can take years to complete. In many cases the end result is either a half measure, in which a party wins or loses on a technicality, and while the situation was unfair in their mind and they were truly hurt, it was not illegal or there is no right of recovery.
One of the best things about mediation is that it is totally voluntary. No one can make you settle a case, and if you don’t like what is being offered by the other side you can walk away from the table and end the mediation. However, is often worthwhile for the parties to stick it out, even when they think they are at an impasse, and let the process play out for a few more rounds. Often, a party stakes out what appears to be an overly aggressive position, but as the day wears on their number may go up, or down, substantially.
Mediation is completely confidential, and the mediator my not disclose anything that happens during the mediation with anyone. In fact, the mediator may not share anything one side says with the other without permission. It is a great opportunity to negotiate candidly with the other side without fear that what is disclosed will become part of a public record.
All of the foregoing reasons are why mediation is so popular. The key is to find a mediator who can understand the facts and the law, and who has enough experience to have an understanding of how the case will play out in court if it does not settle. Perhaps most importantly, a good mediator must also have empathy for both parties, and not be slanted towards either plaintiffs or defendants, employers or employees. Having spent his career litigating for both sides, Attorney Porter is uniquely qualified to mediate your case.
Mediation can be an efficient and cost-effective means of quickly resolving many disputes. For experienced meditation services for employment and labor law matters, call our Boston office at 617-843-9332 or use our online contact form.