What is Mediation?

I have a personal injury case in Tennessee.  The judge has ordered the case  to mediation.  What does that mean?

Mediation is a process where a person who has no stake in the outcome of the case (the "mediator") helps the parties to the litigation try to resolve their differences.  Mediation has increased greatly in Tennessee in the last twenty years.  

I had the honor of being appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to a commission that  drafted the original court rule concerning mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.  I served on that commission about twenty years ago.

In court-ordered mediation the parties can usually agree to who will serve as the mediator.  If they cannot agree the court will appoint a mediator from a list of certified mediators.

Mediation helps the parties to a dispute focus on the strengths and weaknesses of their case.   As you would expect, there are good mediators and mediators who aren’t so good.  An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to give you advice on who should be selected as a mediator.