Florida


Our firm represents Plaintiffs and I am informed that Mr. Strauss has a defense background.  Nevertheless, I found him objective, insightful and able to discuss the advantages and risks of the case with both parties.  Moreover, Mr. Strauss was able to do this in a way that was considerate of all concerned.  Let me reiterate that I was very pleased with the performance of Mr. Strauss and look forward to working with him again in the future.

Bruce D. Frankel
Fort Myers

 

I am an attorney practicing in Southwest Florida. I represent Plaintiffs in Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Neglect, and Wrongful Death cases. At the request of a defense attorney in a recent case, I had the opportunity to have Richard M. Strauss, Esq. as a mediator in a Nursing Home Neglect case. I have found Mr. Strauss to be extremely professional, courteous, impartial and objective towards all parties. I look forward to working with Mr. Strauss again in the future, and would most certainly recommend his services to other attorneys.

Gary M. Paige
Fort Myers

 

…..I had the distinct pleasure of having a case mediated by Mr. Richard M. Strauss, Esquire on a nursing home case in which I represented the Plaintiff against a Naples, Florida nursing facility.  It is very difficult for us to obtain mediators in our area who are knowledgeable and conscientious enough to successfully mediate cases…. I am pleased to have found such a person who cares enough about doing his job to get cases settled that he puts the requisite effort into the case….. Although he primarily worked with the defense side, it never showed in the manner in which he handled the mediation and the parties thereto.  I have every intention of using Mr. Strauss on future cases, and in fact, am recommending him to other counsel in our area as a mediator.

Allan M. Parvey
Fort Myers

 

As an attorney who has practiced in the field of personal injury litigation for almost thirty years, I would strongly recommend Richard M. Strauss as a mediator.  Recently, we used Mr. Strauss' services to reach an agreement in a very difficult nursing home negligence case.  Mr. Strauss' expertise in the field of personal injury law is outstanding.  His level of preparation and understanding of the key issues in the case were excellent.

I found his approach to be very thorough during settlement discussions and our clients were extremely comfortable in working with him.  Our firm will certainly use Mr. Strauss' services in the future in all areas of personal injury litigation.  We would strongly recommend him as a mediator to any firm that contacts our office.

Stephen G. Mercadante
Gainesville

 

It was a pleasure working with you on our past mediation.  You came recommended by a claim representative of the Defendant and as a Plaintiff attorney I am very happy with the results.

During the mediation, I felt that you were objective, impartial, and most importantly, effective as a mediator for my client's personal injury case.  You created a conciliatory environment which allowed for compromise and resolution,  Also, your willingness to offer opinions and suggestions throughout the entire settlement negotiation phase of the mediation were very helpful.  I look forward to working with you again in the future and will recommend you to others.

Fred Chikovsky
Hollywood

 

I recently had the pleasure of having Richard Strauss act as a mediator in a somewhat complicated obstetrical malpractice case.  Our case had been very contentiously litigated and the dynamics amongst the various attorneys made open and frank communications difficult.  At various points during the mediation, which lasted virtually all day, different lawyers, including myself, not only threatened to walk out of the mediation but actually did.  Despite the fireworks, Mr. Strauss did a remarkable job, not only keeping everyone “at the table”, but making progress towards settlement.

I am confident of several things with regard to Mr. Strauss’ abilities and skills as a mediator: first, that he has an excellent capacity for comprehending the respective positions of the parties: and, second, that he exhibits a remarkable ability to temper some very volatile personalities thereby keeping the lines of communication open.  Finally, I was most impressed with his willingness and determination to impose a degree of objectivity on each party’s respective position which allowed the parties to gain a realistic perspective of the big picture.  My case would not have settled when it did but for the progress gained as a result of Mr. Strauss’ mediation efforts…..I can say with all sincerity that Richard is one of the best mediators I have ever been involved with and would give him my highest recommendation as a truly objective, dogged and, most importantly, effective mediator.

Thomas A. Culmo
Miami

 

I am not one that sends letters of recommendation, solicited or otherwise.  However, in the case of attorney Richard Strauss, I make an exception without reservation.

Mr. Strauss mediated a case wherein I represented an elderly individual against an assisted living facility.  One of the key issues in the case was, of course, whether the decedent's death was caused by the negligence of the ALF.

This case never would have settled but for the efforts of Mr. Strauss.  He was totally familiar with the key issues in the case and knew both the strengths and weaknesses of the respective sides.

He was a professional in every sense of the word.  I found that both sides were treated with the utmost respect, and I know that my client found Mr. Strauss to be extremely helpful in getting the case resolved.

There is no question in my mind that this particular mediator was by far the most prepared individual that I've ever utilized as a mediator.  Furthermore, his suggestions during the caucus phase of negotiating were invaluable, and I believe were the reason we were able to get the case settled.

I won't hesitate to suggest Mr. Strauss as a mediator in the future if it's a significant case.

Dennis A. Koltun
Miami

 

As a Plaintiff's medical malpractice and nursing home abuse attorney, I have found Richard Strauss to be uniquely qualified and effective as a mediator.  His background in defense gives him credibility with the opposing counsel and claims adjusters, but at the same time, he works very aggressively and effectively toward a fair resolution.

Unlike many mediators we seem to be getting, Mr. Strauss is very dedicated to the mediation process and is skilled at keeping the offers coming.  I would not hesitate to use him again as a mediator, particularly in hard fought contentious cases, where he seems to be able to obtain resolution.

Charles H. Sinclair
Miami

 

I am writing this letter in reference to my mediation with Richard Strauss.  I was not familiar with Mr. Strauss prior to this case, however, he was recommended by the claims representative to serve as the mediator.  Although I had some reluctance at first to using him as a mediator because of his defense background, I was assured by comments on the web site by other attorneys who have dealt with Mr. Strauss in the past.

Mr. Strauss brought a unique approach to this mediation.  He prepared in advance and understood the issues before the mediation began.  Opening comments were not used in the traditional fashion, but rather toward resolving issues in the case.

Mr. Strauss remained patient throughout a long day of mediation.  We had complex issues of medical causation regarding my client's past medical history.  My clients were very comfortable with Mr. Strauss' approach, and through his efforts we were able to resolve a case that otherwise would not have been settled.

I am happy to recommend Mr. Strauss to other attorneys as an effective mediator in complex and difficult cases.

William L. Contole
North Palm Beach

 

You did an extraordinary job at the mediation last week in bringing this nursing home case to a successful conclusion.  At the outset, I was not optimistic about our chances of settlement in light of the nursing home's position in the case and my clients' high emotions regarding the death of their mother.  In fact, due to the Defendant's early settlement offers at the mediation, I was on the precipice of declaring impasse several times during the mediation.  You wisely talked me out of that approach and offered some insightful ideas on how to speed the mediation along to see if we had a chance of settling the case.

Your expertise and background in the nursing home arena including your knowledge of issues involving polypharmacy and chemical restraints were pivotal in getting this case resolved.  My clients were also very impressed with your knowledge and skill as a mediator--they genuinely respected your views of their case.

Although you are in Atlanta and we have many fine mediators in the Orlando area, I will continue to utilize you as a mediator, no matter where my case is venued.  I do not routinely write recommendation letters for mediators, but I would gladly recommend you to any of my colleagues in Florida or other venues.

Alexander M. Clem
Orlando

 

It is important that I take a moment to thank you for your hard work in our recent successful resolution of the Mississippi nursing home case.

As counsel for the plaintiff, I was initially concerned about your background with the industry.  You alleviated my fears through your fair and persistent efforts.  As you know, our case was filled with countless obstacles including recalcitrant insurance adjusters, dwindling insurance limits, competing claims, threats of bankruptcy, and numerous insurance coverage issues.  We needed a knowledgeable, patient and driven mediator to focus the dialogue.   The mediation was long and spirited; however, all parties were pleased with your involvement and the ultimate outcome.

On behalf of my law firm and my client, thank you for your patience and perseverance in ensuring everyone remained at the table to bring this significant case to closure.

I look forward to working with you in the future.

David A. Paul
Orlando, FL

 

I wanted to write a letter recommending Richard Strauss as a mediator for any of your complex medical or nursing home cases.  Mr. Strauss mediated his first cases for me back in the early 2000's.  They were complex cases involving a national nursing home chain that was in bankruptcy, and the mediations were conducted at the direction of a bankruptcy court.  We mediated a half a dozen cases and then a few years later a defense lawyer recommended Mr. Strauss as a mediator in another case.  Since then I've hired him to mediate between 15-20 nursing home cases in at least 4 different states.

He's always prepared, professional, and my clients are quickly impressed with his mastery of the facts and professional qualifications.  I can't underscore enough how prepared Mr. Strauss is when he shows up for the mediation; he also spends time, at no additional charge of course, of getting up to speed on any peculiarities of state law that may apply to my client's case.

In almost 20 years of dealing with mediators, Mr. Strauss is the most prepared mediator I've ever dealt with.  His fee is similar to most of the local mediators that I encounter, and he never tires of staying late in an effort to assist the parties in the mediation process.

Garry J. Rhoden
Orlando

 

From 1997 to 2004, I was supervising attorney for my predecessor law firm's nursing home abuse and neglect department.  Eventually, we had attorneys litigating nursing home abuse and neglect cases in several states, including Arizona, New York, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.

Richard Strauss and I first met on a case several years ago in Memphis, Tennessee.   At first I was reluctant to agree to him as mediator because of his employment background in the nursing home and health care industry.   After a number of mediations since then, I know now that I could not have been more wrong.

Richard's knowledge and experience in the industry serve him well in his role as mediator in any case involving long term care issues.   His thorough preparation before mediation, his ability to create a conciliatory environment at mediation, and his skills in fostering negotiations between the parties have resulted in a very positive experience for me and my clients over the last several years in multiple venues including Tennessee and Florida.

It is without reservation that I can recommend Richard to anyone requiring mediation services in any kind of case, but particularly in cases involving long term care issues.

Melvin B. Wright
Orlando

 

Please accept this letter regarding my recent mediation experience with Richard M. Strauss, Esq.  At the outset, let me say that I was extremely pleased with Mr. Strauss' mediation services in every regard.  The case at issue was a very complex medical malpractice action against multiple defendant healthcare providers and facilities spanning care and treatment over the course of an entire summer.  The records involved were nothing short of voluminous and there were well over a dozen experts deposed in this case.  I found Mr. Strauss to be extremely well prepared for mediation, having thoroughly reviewed the various records and position papers submitted by the parties that addressed the issues of negligence and causation, both of which were vigorously contested by all defendants.  I have found, that in order to even have a chance of successful mediation in such a complex medical malpractice case, it is essential that the mediator understand the issues and be able to challenge the positions of the parties; Mr. Strauss was able to effectively do this throughout the mediation process because he was adequately prepared.  I personally felt that his preparation was a crucial point and mediation would have not been successful otherwise.

Additionally, I must say that as a plaintiff's lawyer, I was a little skeptical when Mr. Strauss was suggested as a potential mediator for consideration by the defendants' lawyers.  Having never worked with him before, I initially felt, as I would imagine many plaintiffs' lawyers might feel in such a situation, that Mr. Strauss was probably a defense oriented mediator that would concentrate his efforts on challenging my positions only and thus weakening my case.  However, at mediation, it quickly became clear to me after the first few rounds of negotiations, that Mr. Strauss was truly impartial and objective, challenging the positions and theories of all parties equally.  The end result was movement toward a compromised settlement amount that otherwise likely would not have occurred.

Finally, let me say that I found Mr. Strauss' opening statement procedures to be particularly effective.  All too often, I have found that the opposiing sides can become polarized after opening statements, which obviously decreases the chances of successful mediation.  While it is critically important for each side to understand opposing theories and valuation assessments, sometimes the process of getting there through opening statement hinders the ultimate goal of compromise. Mr. Strauss suggested the parties waive opening statements, in favor of him taking on the responsibility for advancing opposing theories and valuation assessments during the individual sessions.  At first, given the complexity of the case, I was skeptical that Mr. Strauss would be able to effectively do this in a way that was fair to my client.  However, as a result of his preparation, he was successful in reaching a balance between 1) advancing all the points that needed to be made and 2) doing so in a way that did not polarize the parties or hinder the ability to compromise.

I would recommend Mr. Strauss' mediation services to any lawyer, whether they be for the plaintiff or defense, and it is certainly my intent to utilize his services in the future should the need arise, particularly in my complex medical malpractice cases.

W. Cameron Stephenson
Pensacola

 

As a former defense attorney and now a plaintiff’s attorney, I had some reservations about using Mr. Strauss because of his substantial background in the insurance industry.  However, I reviewed letters from other plaintiff’s attorneys who indicated they found him to be very neutral and objective as a mediator.  I also found this to be true as he worked very well with both sides in attempting to bring about a resolution.  I would recommend Mr. Strauss as a mediator who is impartial to all sides and very people-oriented, which assists in keeping negotiations progressing with the right attitude by all parties

William E. Partridge
Sarasota

 

I just wanted to express my appreciation for the excellent job you did in handling the mediation of this case on November 25. My clients were impressed with the professional manner in which you approached this case and the manner in which you guided the sometimes difficult negotiations. The case presented very challenging issues of causation and apportionment of damages. I believe that your background in the industry was instrumental in persuading the defense to move beyond a nominal settlement to eventually reach a substantial resolution that all could accept. I had prepared my clients for the worst.....My clients and I are grateful for your assistance.

Best wishes for the Holidays and the New Year!

Barry M. Salzman
St. Petersburg

 

I have had the privilege of mediating several long term care cases in several states with Richard Strauss.  Long term care litigation has represented the lion's share of my practice for the last 10+ years.  Long term care litigation has a number of unique issues which are foreign even to those who have experience in handling medical malpractice litigation.  The typical PI or med mal assessment and approach just does not apply to a case against a nursing home or assisted living facility.  This is where Richard's background in the long term care business is invaluable.  Richard brings to the mediation a level of preparation and understanding that is seldom found among mediators.  He is actively engaged in preparation for the mediation in the days before we actually even meet for the mediation.  This level of preparation allows him to create an environment that demonstrates an understanding of issues, and of course this is helpful to ultimately gain a resolution of the claim.  I highly recommend Mr. Strauss as a mediator in long term care litigation cases, especially if you or opposing council is somewhat new to this unique field of law.  If I can answer any questions, please do not hesitate to call.

Scott E. Gwartney
Tallahassee

 

I have been fortunate enough to utilize Richard Strauss as a mediator in several cases in several jurisdictions, including, Florida, Mississippi and Oklahoma.  In light of these experiences, I unhesitatingly recommend the services of Richard as a mediator in any nursing home abuse and neglect case.

Through his years working at Mariner and as a mediator, Richard has developed formidable expertise in understanding nursing home abuse and neglect cases.  Therefore, no time needs to be wasted educating Richard about nursing home abuse and neglect cases in general.  Instead, you can focus your energy on highlighting the unique facts of your particular case.

In a recent four-party mediation that Richard conducted for me, Richard had obviously spent several hours prior to the mediation mastering each of the defendant's arguments as well as the Plaintiff's case.  Because of his pre-mediation preparation, Richard went into the mediation with an excellent grasp of Plaintiff's case against each defendant.  Ultimately, Richard was able to help negotiate an extremely favorable result on behalf of my client.

Another great asset that Richard has as a mediator is that he is creative.  Illustrative of this, Richard does not use the exact same dispute resolution tactics in each mediation and simply hope that they will work.  Richard takes a more proactive approach than most mediators by specifically tailoring each mediation strategy to the case specific dynamics.  In one case that Richard mediated for me, he suggested that I dispense with my opening PowerPoint presentation (in light of the fact that both sides clearly knew the case and each other well).  In another case, Richard omitted his opening remarks in light of a particular situation with my client.  Richard's willingness to depart from the mediator's script in both of these cases helped for the mediations to be more successful.

Richard's best quality as a mediator is that he brings substantial energy to the mediation process.  Richard's energy gives him the ability to relate to the attorneys, clients and adjusters that are involved in any case.  Richard's energy and enthusiasm have undoubtedly helped him keep both parties talking when they would have preferred to take the next flight out of town.

Although Richard has never mediated a medical malpractice case for one of my clients, I have heard that he is also a well-qualified, successful mediator in medical negligence cases.

If you have any further questions regarding Richard's qualifications from a Plaintiff attorneys' perspective, do not hesitate to contact me.  Thank you for your consideration.

Eric K. Milles, Esq.
Tallahassee

 

As a plaintiff's attorney I recently had the opportunity to participate in a mediation in which Richard Strauss served as a mediator.

For all practical purposes, liability was admitted, however, the real issue in the case was the dwindling amount of insurance coverage available to satisfy an inordinate number of claims, coupled with the fact that our case was approximately 6-8 weeks from trial.

In all candor, I feel that Richard Strauss was instrumental in achieving a very fair settlement for my client in light of the limited prospects of recovery available to our client.

Although the mediation took approximately 7 hours, I truly feel that Richard helped us achieve an additional.......above what the insured was prepared to expend to resolve the case.

I highly recommend Richard to other plaintiff's counsel.

Geoffrey Morris
Venice

 

I recently had the opportunity to successfully mediate a hotly contested nursing home claim….. I am confident that had Mr. Strauss not taken the time to fully understand the evidence and issues applicable to this claim this matter would not have been successfully mediated….. This was my first exposure to Mr. Strauss and, as a Plaintiff’s attorney, I was candidly concerned that he may not prove to be totally impartial because of his ties to the health care community.  To the contrary, Mr. Strauss proved to be not only effective, but totally impartial and I would, without hesitation, utilize his services in the future.

Joseph R. Johnson
West Palm Beach