Don’t Lose Your Shirt in Mediation
Mediation, as opposed to arbitration is a form of settlement discussion where another person -preferably who knows something about the law controlling the issues in dispute – can help “bring the parties together” in settlement.
Most frequently this arises in a litigation setting, after suit has been filed, or in divorce, for example, where suit is contemplated. In theory, however, it could happen any time. It just only happens in litigation in practice.
Mediation is sometimes required by the courts as a condition to litigation as a way to increase the chance of settlement, and it can sometimes even be helpful. But much of the time you will be involved with a mediator who pays too much attention to the debt collector’s lawyer and doesn’t know the laws or realities of debt collection himself or herself. What’s a pro se defendant to do? This video will help.
Just remember, you never have to settle in a mediation, but if you do, you’re stuck with what you agree to. Go into a mediation with a plan, remember that you have a good chance of winning, and remember also that this will not be your only chance to settle. You should also remember that one of your jobs may be to teach the mediator a little law on debt collection and the rules of evidence. You should be ready to discuss the rule against hearsay in your state and the business records exception and talk about how they apply or not to your case.