As a plaintiff's lawyer, I recently had the opportunity to participate in a mediation in which Richard Strauss served as the Mediator. It was very clear from the onset of the mediation that Mr. Strauss was very objective and certainly not favoring one side or the other. I also found Richard to be a very effective Mediator with a very good grasp of medical knowledge.
I strongly believe that Richard Strauss played a very important role in helping my client resolve their claim. It was very clear that Richard spent a great deal of time prior to the mediation learning the issues and preparing his own personal outline of the high-points and low-points of each parties case. There was no question that Richard had a great deal of experience in the medical field and I believe he helped point out very important issues to both sides.
I will certainly use Richard in future mediations involving medical negligence, nursing home negligence, and personal injury claims. In addition to his preparation and knowledge, his fees were extremely reasonable considering that he had to fly to Fayetteville, Arkansas to attend the mediation.
Once again, it was a pleasure working with Richard and if you would like to discuss anything with me, please do not hesitate to contact me.
J. Timothy Smith
I write this letter in strong support of Richard M. Strauss serving as mediator for any type of nursing home negligence case. My co-counsel and I recently settled a high-value nursing home case shortly after a day of mediation which started with the parties being in completely different worlds in terms of case valuation.
I will confess that I am not the biggest fan of mediation of nursing home cases, but this is due mostly to what I view as a lack of preparation, effort, and legitimate understanding of the issues by too many mediators. This is not an indictment of the process or all mediators. It is simply my opinion based on experience.
In our case mediation was Court-ordered. The Court left it to the parties to agree on a mediator. The third-party claims adjuster recommended Mr. Strauss to serve as our mediator. In researching Mr. Strauss' background, it became apparent that he has a substantial mount of experience in representing defendants, and nursing home corporations in particular. While a background of that sort can be troubling to many plaintiffs' attorneys, including me, upon further investigation it was clear that Mr. Strauss has a broad base of support from both sides of the bar.
After considering the comments of well-respected plaintiff's attorneys, my co-counsel and I agreed to the claim adjuster's recommendation of Mr. Strauss serving as our mediator. As usual, we spent a significant amount of energy in preparing a confidential mediation brief which we submitted to Mr. Strauss with the hope that he would actually read it and understand the issues. Mr. Strauss recommended that we not prepare any opening remarks or presentations, which is a bit unconventional. I now see why and agree so long as Mr. Strauss is the mediator.
The mediation began with Mr. Strauss presenting my clients with a fairly lengthy presentation which appeared to be designed to take the parties and attorneys outside the litigation process and into a more appeasing setting. This was quite important to reaching a successful resolution. My clients had very strong feelings that their mother was neglected, and rightfully so. The manner in which Mr. Strauss put the clients at ease, connected with them, and understood their story built a level of trust that was critical to setting the stage for an environment that could be, and eventually was, successful.
Following the opening remarks, the parties were separated to caucus. Mr. Strauss started in our room and went through a detailed explanation of the pros and cons of our case. I was extremely impressed with the level of preparation and understanding of the unique issued presented by most nursing home cases. In my experience, too many mediators have only a superficial understanding of pressure sores, malnutrition, dehydration, the causes for these injuries, staffing, state surveys, and the themes plaintiff's attorneys use to establish a corporate negligence case. Given Mr. Strauss' detailed discussion of the pros and cons of our case, it was very apparent to me, co-counsel, and our clients that Mr. Strauss has an excellent understanding of these issues and our case in particular due to his background and preparation for the mediation.
As the day passed, it was clear that Mr. Strauss put forth maximum effort to attempt to bring the parties together to a mutually beneficial resolution. While movement was slow in the beginning, as it typically is, Mr. Strauss continued to work hard for us and propose beneficial options and suggestions throughout the day. In my view this was instrumental in achieving a successful result.
At the end of the mediation, the parties had closed the gap by a large margin, but they remained a significant amount of money apart. I believe this was due to the high-value of the case and the fact that the parties started the mediation with an enormous gap in terms of case valuation. Mr. Strauss offered to remain involved in the negotiations at no additional charge, which is unprecedented in my experience. The case settled shortly after the mediation.
I highly recommend Mr. Strauss to serve as mediator for any nursing home negligence case. With Mr. Strauss serving as our mediator, we received a level of preparation, persistence, creativity, and understanding of the issues unmatched by any mediator with whom I have ever worked. Mr. Strauss will be at the top of my list in selecting a mediator in future cases.
Thomas G. Buchanan, III
Thank you so much for all of your hard work and your professionalism in helping us to get our claim resolved. I truly appreciated everything you did! I look forward to working with you again!
I enjoyed the mediation session which Richard Strauss conducted last month regarding a nursing home case. What was noteworthy was Richard's ability as a mediator aside from his comprehension of the issues, is that he has a very pleasant demeanor, coupled with an organized mind. This would assist him in a potentially contentious process, although ours was not.
Marc I. Baretz