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Can you walk out of a mediation that you asked for in your New York medical malpractice case ?

 

A:

The answer is yes.

A mediation is a negotiation session and an opportunity for both sides to sit down with an impartial person who tries to negotiate a settlement.

Your case has likely gone on for a number of years and there probably has been very little discussion about settlement. Now the defense attorney tells your lawyer that they would like to begin settlement discussions and would prefer to do it during a mediation session.

Each side pays a fee to participate in hiring an impartial mediator. Mediation is usually held in an office run by the mediation company. You and your attorney have invested a great deal of time and energy to prepare for the mediation. The defense lawyer and their principals have done the same. Each side is coming ready to negotiate in good faith.

However, during the course of the day, you realize that the other side is not as serious as you thought they were. Their claims are becoming more and more unreasonable. They've taken a hardline position and are not be willing to move off that position.

You're becoming increasingly frustrated and angry. Your attorney quickly realizes that your mediation is going nowhere. Even though you paid a fee to participate in this mediation, can you walk out of the mediation?

The answer is yes.

The fact that you have been unable to successfully settle your case during mediation does not mean your case cannot be resolved. It only means that at that moment, you have reached an impasse. It also means that your case will likely go to trial and you will probably need to take a verdict in order to have a final decision on whether you have proven your case.