During my 20 plus years at Robins Kaplan representing injured clients in large, complex products’ liability, personal injury and medical malpractice cases, I learned the value of mediation. Mediation is a process, a very human process, that depends on each parties’ frank and honest evaluation of risk. The main risk is that of a uncertain trial verdict versus the control of a known but perhaps imperfect settlement. Settlement provides certainty; trial engenders risk.
As a trial lawyer, I experienced the highs and lows of trials with my clients: amazing verdicts and devastating defeats. As a Minnesota State District Court judge chambered in Anoka County for 9 years, I presided over approximately 24 criminal jury trials and 12 civil jury trials. I had the opportunity to interact with juries over that time. In my experience, jurors take their responsibilities very seriously and do the very best job they can. That, however, does not mean that jurors understand every nuance of every case, and no party is guaranteed a result in their favor. This does not mean that every case should settle. Some conflicts need trial resolution.