Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
Kevin E Davis, Sr v. U.S. Bank National Association
December 21, 2011
KEVIN E DAVIS, SR, PLAINTIFF,
U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary R. Jones United States Magistrate Judge
This matter is before the Court on Doc. 36, Defendant Trans Union LLC's Motion For Leave For Client Representative To Attend Mediation Via Telephone. Plaintiff has filed a response, Doc. 38, and therefore this motion is ripe for review.
Defendant Trans Union LLC ("Trans Union") requests that its client representative be allowed to participate in the mediation in this case by telephone. According to Trans Union, its national counsel will attend the mediation, and because national counsel is located in Chicago, Illinois, Trans Union would incur significant expense if its counsel is required to attend personally rather than by telephone. Plaintiff opposes the request arguing that the effectiveness of the mediation would be compromised if all of the Defendants are not present.
In the Court's experience the dynamic of the mediation process is impacted where the parties (and not just the lawyers) are present. Personal attendance by the parties and/or their authorized representatives provides an opportunity to personally observe and assess the opposing party and counsel and an opportunity to hear and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the position of the opposing party. Moreover, in most mediation sessions, mediators utilize private caucuses to provide the parties with an opportunity to disclose and discuss information which the parties do not wish to share with the opposing parties while in joint session. In this case because there are four defendants the logistics of conducting private caucuses via telephone would be impractical.
Other courts addressing this issue have commented on these and other compelling reasons for requiring the attendance of authorized representatives at settlement conferences. See, e.g. RAAD v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 1998 WL 272879 *6 (D. Neb. May 6, 1998). While the Court fully appreciates the expense associated with requiring an out of town representative to attend mediation, personal participation in the mediation may save tens of thousands of dollars in fees and expenses in the long run in a case like this where mediation is conducted early in the case before significant fees have been incurred. For these reasons, the Court concludes that an authorized representative with full authority to settle shall be personally present at the mediation conference.*fn1
Accordingly, it is now ORDERED as follows:
1. Defendant Trans Union LLC's Motion For Leave For Client Representative To Attend Mediation Via Telephone (Doc. 36) is DENIED.
2. Defendant Trans Union LLC shall have an authorized representative with full authority to settle personally attend the mediation conference to be scheduled in this case.
Buy This Entire Record For