Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution methodology. A hired independent and objective mediator will go back and forth between the two sides to bridge the gap between demand and offer. The mediator (a judge, a private lawyer, or a trained mediator) acts as a conduit to see if the sides can come to an agreement. Mediation can be a helpful process for both sides to learn what the other side expects. It helps give clarity regarding why the opposing party sees the case differently.
Since the pandemic, access to justice in the courts has been delayed. Therefore, many clients are choosing to mediate cases virtually in order to explore the possibility of resolving the case without further risk or delay.
At DILLER LAW, we have our own ace in the hole for mediations: our very own attorney/doctor Dr. John Naranja, Esq. Dr. John was a practicing orthopedic surgeon for 14 years before going to law school and earning his J.D. Dr. John plays an active role in DILLER LAW’s meditations.
Typically, experts don’t appear at mediations. Bringing Dr. John to a mediation is an advantage for clients because nobody at the table understands the medicine better; the mechanism of the injury; and the gravity of the injury. Dr. John not only brings the skill set of a doctor, but, as a lawyer, he also understands what needs to be proven at court.
Before a mediation, Dr. John will review a client’s medical records and, if he is able, will talk to the treating medical provider in the case. Then, Dr. John evaluates how best to present the damages in the case. Using his education, training, and experience, Dr. John appears at the mediation ready to educate the mediator and the other side regarding how the objective medical evidence favors our client’s position and undermines the oppositions’ defenses. Dr. John notes that the other side typically will ask him questions regarding the damages.
Recently, Dr. John attended a mediation for our client, who sustained a shoulder fracture. The other side alleged that the fracture healed without complication. Dr. John understood how someone unfamiliar with reviewing x-rays and medical records might believe the shoulder healed entirely. Because of his discussions with the doctor and medical background, Dr. John saw that although healing had occurred, there was residual deformity in the shoulder. Dr. John used the opportunity to educate the other side that the injury was permanent. Dr. John competently answered the other side’s questions about the shoulder injury and such explanations helped the other side to re-evaluate the case and to understand the impact the injury would have on the client’s life.
Since the pandemic, Dr. John has regularly attended virtual mediations and the clients have consistently achieved better results because of his presence Dr. John possesses a unique skill set not present in other law firms.
Dr. John, Esq. is both an attorney and a physician. Before obtaining his law degree, Dr. John Naranja practiced for approximately 12 years as an orthopedic surgeon.