Attorney Brett Oppenheimer of Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC is known throughout Louisville and all of Kentucky for being an attorney who focuses on personal injury cases and litigation. However, not all cases need to go all the way to trial to reach resolution. Some can be resolved quickly, quietly, and just as effectively through mediation. Mediation is a form of “Alternative Dispute Resolution” or ADR which has many goals, including, expediting the process, saving money and time and reducing risk for the parties.
Recognizing the importance of mediation, Brett Oppenheimer has recently finished mediation training and received his mediation certification. He utilized the popular and highly-praised “Basic 40-Hour Mediation Training by Dr. Clare Fowler” of Mediate.com University. With this official certification in hand, Brett can now act as a mediator for plaintiffs and defendants looking for a court-free, alternative resolution to sensitive claims.
Attorney Oppenheimer was quoted as saying:
“For decades, I have been an advocate for just one ‘side’ in a dispute. I liked to think that I was objective and could understand the other’s position. But, through the process of becoming certified as a Mediator, I learned that being ‘neutral’ has huge potential benefits to understanding and, ultimately, resolving disputes. Of course, I’ll use the tools I learned throughout my coursework as I help others resolve their disputes. But, perhaps most unexpected, are the benefits of this education toward the goal of communicating with and listening to my own clients, defense attorneys and insurance adjusters."
Basics of the Mediation Process
A mediation to settle a legal dispute – generally used in personal injury claims and family law matters – does not need the court’s presence or input to move forward. Instead, both sides of the dispute meet in a private office or conference room with the mediator, who is not there to represent one party or another. Mediators are meant to be legally neutral, offering clarity and generalized advice but never pushing for one solution or the other. Many successful mediations require just one session to reach an agreeable conclusion or settlement.
The basic mediation process is:
- Mediator explains the purpose the mediation and the expectations of both parties.
- Each party confirms they are participating in good faith.
- Each party has the opportunity to speak (give an “opening statement”).
- Typically the parties are then separated and the mediator works between the rooms to convey information and settlement offers.
- The case “settles” if both sides come to an agreement.
- If there is no settlement, the litigation moves forward (and/or the parties may continue settlement talks or schedule another mediation session).
When mediation works, it is usually less costly, less time-consuming, and far less stressful for both parties. Attorney Brett Oppenheimer hopes to be able to bring this helpful service to parties throughout Louisville and across Kentucky.