First Court Litigation Insights

When to use Online Dispute Resolution

Sep 1, 2017 1:28:00 PM / by Will Gardner

1 Hour Mediation has quickly and efficiently closed cases with a huge range of dollar values, complexities, and particulars. However, submissions that fail to yield the best results generally have one or more of the following problems:


Consider this scenario. Both parties agree to use 1 Hour Mediation, but are not able to close the file before we adjourn. A month later, we get a call saying that you haggled all month, then used the rest of your authority to settle. This approach gets the job done… but why put in all the extra time and bother?

Now think about the case you are considering submitting for 1 Hour Meditation. Do you have a “Walkaway Number” that you are ready to bring to the table? Do you have the authority to use that number as an offer/demand to settle the case? Are you mentally prepared to do so?

1 Hour Mediation is all about protecting your precious time. We want to close files here and now, not in a few weeks or months. You should only submit a case that you have thoroughly evaluated, and when you are prepared to make your best offer to settle.

Remember, our goal is to close every file… but some rare cases have a genuine impasse that needs to be decided by a jury. If you are able to find out that is the case in a single hour, we consider it time well spent.


Believe it our not, our offer to meditate is occasionally rejected by the opposing negotiator. Sometimes they are not ready to negotiate, or are not interested in trying a new format to do so. There is not much that can be done in these cases. Most often though, objections can be minimized by answering two questions:  

a) If Defense Counsel is involved in this case, have I effectively communicated with them?  When First Court proposes 1 Hour Mediation to a Plaintiff Attorney, that Attorney’s first action is often to call their counterpart on the Defense side. If the submitting claim handler has not made it clear that they intend to use 1 Hour Mediation, Defense Counsel will understandably advise the Plaintiff to ignore the pesky telemarketer from First Court.

b) Have we already scheduled other ADR? Similarly, if you have scheduled a traditional mediation, the other party is not likely to agree to 1 Hour Mediation. If this is the case, it may be a good opportunity to reach out to the opposing negotiator personally and discuss your options. Bonus - if you can schedule on your own, you each save $100!


Regardless of the platform, settlement is nearly impossible if the parties are using different facts to evaluate the case. Do both sides have the same numbers for specials? Have you shared the most recent case information?

Our conference call after Settlement Testing is designed to uncover missing information, but your odds of success are MUCH higher if you both come to the table with the same foundation for your evaluation. 1 Hour Mediation is the perfect forum to agree on a settlement number… but is much more effective if both sides have the same information.

Topics: Settle, 1 Hour Mediation, ADR, Settlement, Knowledge, Case Submission, Mediation Knowledge

Will Gardner

Written by Will Gardner

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