The use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) particularly in the area of mediation has grown dramatically in the past ten years. However, it is a process that many counsel lack familiarity with. Of importance are the ethical considerations that attach to settlement negotiations. Given the nature of mediation there is no enforcement mechanism to ensure that the parties negotiate in an ethical fashion which translates to good faith. While trust of an adversary is a relative thing there is an ethical obligation of fair dealing when negotiating a settlement. The absence of same will breed mistrust which will detrimentally affect the mediation process.
The course, presented by Hon. John P. DiBlasi (ret.), will explore ethical considerations as they relate to settlement negotiations generally and with opposing counsel, issues relating to the representation of the client, problems that may arise with respect to the parties that attend the mediation, confidentiality, conveyance of demands and offers, disclosure of new information, insurance issues, the submission of pre-mediation submissions and other topics. The course will focus on the ethical obligation to negotiate in good faith and strategies of a proactive approach by counsel to head off bad faith behavior.
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