Mediation is simply another tool available to resolve any kind a dispute, including Oregon and Washington auto injury claims, or Oregon workers' compensation claims. Mediation is voluntary, and in my opinion, can only work of both parties are willing to approach the process in good faith.
A mediation is really just a meeting where all the parties get together to try and resolve a dispute. Although everyone is in the same building many times, the parties to not actually meet face to face in most cases.
When I work with another attorney on an injury or workers' compensation claim, she and I will agree on a mediator. We are usually hiring someone who knows the area of law that governs our case. For Oregon auto injury claims, we may use a Senior Judge or semi-retired attorney. For Oregon Workers' Compensation claims, we may use an active Administrative Law Judge. (The Oregon Workers's Compensation Board has an active mediation program).
Prior to the mediation session, I prepare a "pre-mediation position paper." In plain English, this is a letter to the mediator describing the case, including its strengths and weaknesses, and our position regarding settlement. Some mediators may ask for more information. Our philosophy is to include as much information as possible, but also to keep it to the point. Everything in this letter is confidential.
Every mediator has their own personal style. However, in our experience, the mediator will meet with each party individually, and then conduct "shuttle" diplomacy between the parties to get the case resolved.
Mediation is not an option in every case. If you have a dispute involving an Oregon or Washington auto injury claim, or a Workers' Compensation claim, call us at 503-325-8600 to learn all your options.