Appellate Mediation

appellate-mediationThe decision to pursue an appeal is fraught with risk and the potential to waste substantial time and resources. Lara is a graduate of Pepperdine School of Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution—a nationally recognized program providing intense training on the skills necessary to effectively mediate lawsuits. Lara has a leg up on mediators trying to mediate appeals, but who don’t have first-hand experience with appeals. Lara helps parties reach mutually acceptable mediated settlements through her mediation training, coupled with her well-honed knowledge of appellate procedure and insights into the odds of appellate success.

A mediated appeal can help resolve the issues between the parties more quickly and more cheaply than through the courts. It also allows the parties to control the extent to which their dispute creates precedent. Some cases are particularly well-suited to mediation. For example, mediation can save the parties expensive attorney’s fees in appeals arising from a lengthy trial or a voluminous record on appeal. In those cases, the parties might otherwise incur substantial attorney’s fees for the review and analysis of the factual record before even delving into the legal issues and drafting the appellate briefs. Mediation is usually an effective way to settle appeals challenging money judgments or attorney’s fees awards.

Appellate mediation is also an effective and economical way for lawyers to educate their clients about how their factual and legal disputes might be resolved by an appellate court. Those not familiar with the appellate process often struggle to understand the appellate court’s standards of review. Most notably, all appellate courts—state and federal—review factual findings deferentially, which means that it is rare for an appellate court to reverse on factual grounds. By mediating an appeal before briefing, trial counsel and their clients benefit from an informed neutral’s perspective on the appeal’s strengths and weaknesses. Through this process, trial counsel are in a better position to advise their clients on the potential hurdles to success on appeal.

The first step in exploring a mediated appeal is to contact Lara at (310) 975-8513 or by email at LKrieger@LaraKriegerLaw.com.

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