Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mediation in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals

I spent over five hours in a mediation session scheduled by the Court of Special Appeals. This is a relatively new program, and I was told that my case was approximately the twentieth case to make use of the program. I am optimistic that this will resolve many cases that could not be resolved at the trial level.

To start, the nine parties and lawyers were introduced to a semi-retired Circuit judge and the head mediator. Unlike mediations held at the trial court level, often conducted before all the facts are developed, and certainly before any legal theories have been tested before a finder of fact, this mediation involved lawyers who knew all the ins-and-outs of the case. This made for a much higher level of discussion, and a more realistic view of each parties "best case" and "worst case" positions. My case did not readily settle, but we have a framework that may bear fruit before the first brief comes due!