Partner Jon Buchan was recently quoted in a Lawyers Weekly’s article, “What Every Lawyer Should Know About Mediation.” Several North Carolina certified mediators shared their thoughts on mediation. Here are a few excerpts from reporter David Donovan’s article:
The longer a dispute festers, the more likely the parties are to dig in and become emotionally invested in their positions. Jon Buchan, a mediator and attorney with EssexRichards in Charlotte, says that by the time he sees the litigants at a conference, they often “have smoke coming out of their ears.”
“They have spent months or maybe years in the tooth-pulling agony of written discovery and depositions, paid their lawyers handsomely and still can’t resolve their fight,” said Buchan.
Buchan said that at the outset, he works hard to be sure each side understands the weaknesses in its own case and the strengths of the other side’s case and persuade them to put their anger and their adversary positions aside for a few hours, trying to get the clients to focus on the benefits of resolution over the headaches of continued litigation.
“If, after a couple of hours, I can get them to stop ‘trying their case’ to each other and to focus on a resolution that will get them out of the litigation business and back to their real business, I can often get them to ‘yes,'” Buchan said.
“Both lawyers and clients have come to understand that putting opposing parties and their lawyers in a conference room where they have no choice but to hear detailed presentations of the other side’s case, to discuss settlement options, and get a stark reminder that the expense and inconvenience of trial preparation and a chancy trial are just ahead gets cases settled, or at least ripe for settlement, before trial,” he added.
Jon, who has been a North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission certified Superior Court Mediator since 2007, regularly mediates disputes in North Carolina. As a litigator, he handles a broad range of business litigation, and also has substantial experience litigating media, Internet, and intellectual property issues.
To read the full article from Lawyers Weekly, click here.