Please allow this letter to serve as my introduction.  I am a trial lawyer with an active trial practice and have also been active in the defense bar of my home state as well as nationally through the Defense Research Institute and the International Association of Defense Counsel.  I write this letter to commend to your attention Richard M. Strauss and his mediation skills.

Having tried over 50 cases to verdict in state and federal courts in Indiana and other states, I realize the value that an effective mediator can bring to a case by either avoiding the courtroom entirely or narrowing the issues needing to be tried.  Throughout my practice I have been involved in hundreds of mediations and have found that Richard is among the best mediators before whom I have appeared.  While he enjoys a special expertise in areas of long-term care, medical malpractice and other personal injury cases, I have found that he brings to the mediation room a level of preparation and understanding of the key issues in the case beyond that of most individuals who have mediated cases for my clients.  This, combined with his dogged pursuit of a meaningful resolution for both sides and his patience with the parties (and yes, attorneys) is of great value.

Until several months go, I had never met Richard.  He was recommended as a mediator in a case by plaintiff's counsel, which immediately made me suspicious.  Nonetheless, I agreed to his selection and a very difficult wrongful death case was resolved.  Thereafter, I then recommended him on another wrongful death case and his handiwork brought about another resolution.  Both of my clients were pleased, as was I.  It is definitely my intent to engage Richard in the future.

If you care to discuss my thoughts about Richard and his mediation practice, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kevin C. Schiferl

It is my pleasure to recommend Richard M. Strauss, Esq. to serve as your mediator.  Well over 50% of my practice involves defending long term care organizations in Indiana and the Midwest.  Richard is easily my most preferred "go to" mediator in difficult long term care cases.  He will travel anywhere in the United States to assist you, your clients, co-defendants and adversaries in reaching a reasonable resolution.  Personally, I have mediated with him in Indiana and Illinois.

By way of background, Richard uniquely approaches long term care and other medical-legal cases with a mastery one rarely sees from a mediator.  His extensive background as an executive in claims gives him a unique ability to appreciate the value of a case.  You will quickly learn his command of geriatric medicine and the most common issues in dispute in long term care cases is outstanding.

Richard's preparation for mediation is unlike anything I have witnessed.  On numerous occasions, I have witnessed Richard essentially committing the parties' submissions to memory and recalling them with quotes.  One of the keys to mediating with Richard is putting together the most detailed submission possible.  Trust me, you will see the benefit of it in his command of the facts, issues and disputes in your case.

Richard often seeks authority to forego the all-too-typically adversarial opening sessions.  He brings the parties together for an introduction and then speaks at length directly to the plaintiff and plaintiff's family members.  Time and again, I have witnessed the conciliatory tone he creates beginning the process of bringing the parties closer toward a resolution from the very beginning of the mediation session.  Richard works tirelessly at getting the parties to see the strengths AND weaknesses in their case.  His background in the industry and recognizable command of medicine easily establishes credibility when he makes his points.  He is not afraid to speak candidly with your clients and your adversaries about differences he sees in the case issues, strengths and weaknesses.

I wholeheartedly commend Richard's efforts each time I mediate with him.  With that, I cannot recommend his services highly enough.  I think so highly of Richard that I would be more than happy to speak to you concerning his professionalism and my recommendation.

Edward L. Holloran, III