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Tips for the young lawyer

first_imgFrancisco Ramos, Jr. They say that 95 percent of all lawsuits settle, many at mediation. To settle your cases at mediation, consider the following: • Don’t rush into mediation. For a mediation to be fruitful, the parties must have thoroughly investigated their case and have conducted sufficient discovery. If they have not, they may go into mediation with unreasonable expectations. It is ill-advised to proceed with mediation until the parties have done their due diligence. • Explain the mediation process to your client. Explain to your client how mediation works, what to expect at mediation and what you need to do to properly prepare the case for mediation. • Choose the right mediator. Choose a mediator that both parties respect and trust. Seek input from your client when choosing a mediator. Also, select a mediator who has handled cases similar to yours. • Have a game plan. Develop a game plan for mediation. What do you hope to achieve at mediation? What would be a good result for your client? Decide what arguments you will make at mediation and gather the relevant information or conduct the necessary discovery that will support those arguments. • Inform your client of the pros and cons of his or her case. Before going to mediation, explain to your client the strengths and weaknesses of his case. Mediations are successful when each side has realistic expectations of what the potential outcome at trial could be. You are not doing your client any favors by giving an inflated view of what the case is worth. Also, let your client know what the legal costs will be through trial and the potential result at trial if the case does not settle at mediation. • Do your homework. Learn everything you can about your case and everything about the other side’s case. Try your best not to be surprised by your opponent at mediation. • Treat mediation like trial. In many cases, mediation has taken the place of trial. Treat it that way. Go through the entire file, including all the discovery responses, relevant documents, witness statements, and depositions. Compile the documents and testimony that bolster your case and be prepared to discuss them at mediation. • Prepare a closing argument. Generally at mediation, each side makes an opening statement before the parties break to caucus. Instead of making a generic opening statement, I recommend making the closing argument you intend to present at trial, including using any exhibits you intend to use at trial. This way, the other side sees you are prepared to try the case if need be. • Gather all the necessary documents which support your case. Before you go to mediation, make sure you have gathered all the necessary documents that support your case. For example, if you are a plaintiff in a personal injury case, make sure you have all the relevant medical records and medical bills. • Think multimedia. Consider preparing a multimedia presentation at the mediation. To some, this may mean playing a surveillance video or portions of video depositions. To others, it may mean preparing a power point presentation. This shows that you are ready to put on a show for the jury if need be. • Prepare a mediation report for the mediator. Take the time to prepare a mediation report for the mediator. Along with the report, include any relevant documents and copies of any exhibits you intend to use at the mediation. • Prepare a mediation binder. Prepare a binder with a table of contents, that includes all the relevant documents in your case which you intend to address at mediation. Include in the binder excerpts from deposition transcripts, photos, relevant trial orders, etc. You will use this binder as a reference tool during the mediation. • Think win-win. To make the mediation fruitful, find ways to settle the case so that both sides win. If you try to force a one-sided settlement down the other side’s throat, you will find that settlement will be difficult to achieve. • Know your bottom line. Before the mediation, know what your bottom line is and be prepared to walk away if the other side doesn’t want to meet it. • Be professional. Don’t let the mediation deteriorate into a slugfest. Always keep your cool and act professionally. • Bring a draft release to the mediation. Bring a draft release to the mediation, so if the parties settle, the terms of the release can be resolved right then and there. A good sample release can be found on the Web page for the Trial Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar at www.flatls.org.To make your next mediation a fruitful one, take the time to prepare. Often preparation makes the difference between hitting an impasse and brokering a settlement. Francisco Ramos, Jr. is a senior associate with Clarke Silverglate Campbell Williams & Montgomery in Miami, practicing in the areas of commercial and personal injury litigation. He can be reached at (305) 377-0700 or [email protected] Tips for the young lawyer How to prepare for mediationcenter_img January 15, 2004 Regular Newslast_img read more

Health careers on the minds of local students

first_imgThey’re only in Grade 10, but Lorenzo Petrucci and Wesley Phan are already thinking about job security.Like many of their peers, the pair are well aware they could easily pursue a career in the oil and gas industries, the building blocks of their city and its continuing lifeblood, but it’s the mechanics of the human body that bring a career to their minds.“Somebody is always getting hurt, somebody is always going to be sick and so if (you’re a) doctor, you’re always going to have a job,” said Petrucci, 16.- Advertisement -The North Peace Secondary School students were just two of 500 local students that took in the Healthcare Traveling Roadshow, which wrapped up three days of presentations in Fort St. John this week.The roadshow was a chance for the students to rub shoulders with a host medical students and professionals to learn about more than a dozen, in-demand jobs in the health care industry.“We have the chance to learn about the experience of people who are going to medical school,” said Phan, also 16.Advertisement “If we can inspire them to have a reason to try to do well, they may do that.”The show first hit the road in 2010 following Rural Health Workforce Symposium held the year prior in Prince George. It aims to get rural students interested in medicine and health as a way to help boost the number of health professionals working in rural areas, where recruitment and retention is an ongoing struggle.The university has since visited hundreds of students in communities across northern BC, including Clearwater, Fort Nelson and Kitimat.The roadshow travels to Dawson Creek on June 11, and Tumbler Ridge on June 12. “I want to start by becoming an all around doctor, but eventually what I want to find out is what I want to specialize in,” said Petrucci.“So, here I am at this roadshow discovering what would be good to do.”That’s music to the ears of Sean Maurice, a senior lab instructor for the Northern Medical Program out of the University of Northern BC, which is spearheading the roadshow.“The goal right now is to get students thinking about what they could do (in healthcare),” Maurice said, adding that he hopes the roadshow will spark students to begin having conversations with a career counsellor.“If we can get them to think about these as real options, then the follow up questions might be, ‘OK, what courses do I need, how well do I need to do in those courses?Advertisementcenter_img “I learned there’s quite a few programs to get accepted for, and then transfer to medical school.”Medical students from across the province took part in the roadshow to speak with students and give them some hands-on experience about their studies and work, with disciplines including medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, dentistry, medical lab technologies, biomedical engineering, and midwifery.Students had a chance to work with skeletons, microscopes, bacterial plates, and other equipment the roadshow brought along.Phan already knows he wants to be an opthamologist — “Eyes have always appealed to me,” he said,” — whereas Petrucci has settled on a career practicing medicine.Advertisementlast_img read more

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