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Mediation or Litigation?

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Any seasoned trial lawyer will tell you that over 95% of all lawsuits settle short of a judgment at trial--the major variable being how much money and time the parties will spend--in attorneys' fees, litigation expenses, motions, legal briefs, hearings, depositions, and eventually trial. The litigation process is controlled by a set of rules set down by the Courts. The process can last from a few months to several years. The longer a lawsuit lasts, the more you learn that hiring a lawyer to handle your case is not enough--your schedule gradually becomes secondary to the needs of the Court, the lawyers, and the witnesses. And the law firm invoice continues to be paid each month as the litigation moves forward.


Mediation, on the other hand, gives you more control over both the process and the solution. Mediators are third-party neutrals who facilitate the resolution of disputes without deciding a "winner" or "loser." The goal of a mediator is to let you "tell your story" and assist both parties to develop their own solution and not leave the final decision in the hands of a judge or a jury of strangers.


Mediation also enjoys a success rate of 80% or higher--sometimes on terms that are simply not available from the legal system. And most of the time the mediation itself takes just a day, with the lead up work by your lawyer taking far less time than getting ready for an arbitration or trial. So trying to resolve your dispute with the help of a trained third-party mediator usually makes sense. Denny has spent many years resolving litigation matters short of trial and serves as a third-party mediator. 


While mediation is less expensive and takes less time, for a variety of reasons, sometimes outside of your control, litigation including a trial is inevitable. Denny Esford spent most of his legal career in the litigation arena. He has experience representing clients in a range of commercial disputes in both state and federal court including Contracts, Business Torts. Trademarks, Trade Secrets, and Copyright cases.

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Windy City in the West

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P:  312.405.7725 


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