What is a Moderated Settlement Conference?

Moderated Settlement Conference

No one ever plans on getting into a car wreck, and a serious collision can have a negative lasting effect on a person or family. When a Plaintiff is injured, often times the costly and timely process of litigation can be avoided or seriously reduced with the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) tactics.

ADR advocates are part of a movement amongst lawyers that attempts to cut down on the cost, time, and stress associated with the litigation process. Often times, litigation can take years and thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars to complete.

A Moderated Settlement Conference is often times a great way to get realistic expectations regarding your case. A Moderated Settlement Conference is statutorily defined: “A moderated settlement conference is a forum for case evaluation and realistic settlement negotiations.

(b) Each party and counsel for the party present the position of the party before a panel of impartial third parties.

(c) The panel may issue an advisory opinion regarding the liability or damages of the parties or both.

(d) The advisory opinion is not binding on the parties.

A moderated settlement conference provides parties with a confidential, nonbinding case valuation by an impartial panel of skilled attorneys. This process is helpful whenever counsel and their clients can benefit from a neutral evaluation of the case. The format for the moderated settlement conference is quite simple.

First, the attorney for each side presents the case to the panel. This presentation generally takes no more than thirty minutes with information provided in summary form. The initial presentations are followed by questions from the panel to the attorneys and to the parties. The hearing concludes with very brief closing statements from the attorneys. Following the presentations of the case, the panel confers privately and then provides the parties with an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of their case. The parties use this evaluation as background for further settlement discussion.

You can see how this tool in the ADR tool belt is essential in properly evaluating a claim that you may have. This is a non-binding process but can oftentimes open the eyes of litigation participants.

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