Is It a Good Mediated Settlement If Everyone Goes Away Unhappy? No!

ROBERT G. HEYWOOD, Esq. OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA I've been a mediator in over 1,000 workers' compensation and related cases for over 20 years and have participated in hundreds more as an advocate. During this time, I have occasionally heard attorneys tell their clients something along the lines of, "If everyone goes away unhappy, it's a good settlement.” Even worse, I've heard mediators say, "If everyone goes away unhappy, I've done my job." In my experience as a mediator, statements like this are just plain wrong. When I hear an attorney say things like this to a client, I immediately do my best... Read More


Published in the Workers’ Compensation Quarterly of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar of California, Vol. 30, No. 4 (2017) With mediation becoming a more widely used tool in workers’ compensation case resolution, here are some suggestions which will help you get better results and lead to a higher percentage of cases being resolved at mediation. This is a follow-up article to “Eight Quick Tips for Applicants and Defendants to Improve Their Mediations” which appeared at Volume 28, No. 3 of the 2015 Workers’ Compensation Quarterly. Do the mediation on neutral turf. Certainly a mediation can be successful... Read More

Eight Quick Tips For Applicants and Defendants to Improve Your Mediations

Follow these simple suggestions and you will have better success in mediations: AUTHORITY: Defendant should have the person who controls the money present and participating. Not having full settlement authority is the single most important reason mediations do not result in resolution. Applicant should have key advisers such as a spouse or child present as well. Applicant may be called upon to make decisions with profound personal consequences. Having an adviser present helps make the right decision. PAYMENT INFORMATION Defendant should have up-to-date and accurate information about TD (including dates and amounts), PDAs and earnings. If there is a claim... Read More

Have You Mediated a Worker’s Compensation Case? What Are You Waiting For?

If you haven’t yet mediated a worker’s compensation case, perhaps it’s because you’re not sure what to expect. This article acquaints the reader with the fundamentals of the mediation process with a view to increasing use of this valuable case resolution tool. At the outset, it is not uncommon for attorneys to tell me that this is their first worker’s compensation mediation. Though mediation is used in almost all other areas of California law, it remains underutilized in settlement of challenging worker’s compensation cases. While there are different styles and manners of conducting mediations, here I discuss methodology which I... Read More