South Carolina

I am a personal injury trial attorney currently practicing law in Greenville, South Carolina.  I recently had the pleasure of mediating a medical malpractice case with Richard M. Strauss.

Mr. Strauss was able to successfully mediate the settlement of a case that I myself had little hope of resolving after the first hour.  One of the parties refused to be involved in the process but Mr. Strauss did not allow this to deter him.  He rolled up his sleeves and was able to bring the matter to a successful resolution for all parties involved.  Mr. Strauss' energy and resolve to bring the parties together was infectious and allowed what looked as if it initially was going to be an unpleasant experince turn out for the best for all parties involved.

Mr. Strauss made my clients feel totally at ease and explained the process to them in a manner in which they could easily understand.  His ability to express sincere empathy towards my clients' damages and see the issues from their unique perspective was impressive.  This was a refreshing surprise considering his professional background.  Finally, I feel his background and credentials turned out to be key in his ability to communicate our views very effectively with the opposing side.

Mr. Strauss was recommended to me by one of the opposing defense counsel.  I can now honestly say that I would without hesitation recommend recommend his services as a mediator to my colleagues.

Eric H. Philpot


I am a trial attorney that primarily handles medical negligence cases on behalf of patients in the state of South Carolina.  The majority of cases that I handle in the medical negligence setting (including nursing home litigation) are often complex cases with hard fought issues of liability and damages.  As a result of the complex nature of the litigation most of my cases require a mediator with an understanding of not only complex medical issues, but often the legal issues that go hand in hand.

I recently mediated a case with Richard Strauss.  I am pleased to say that we intend to use Mr. Strauss in future mediations because I think he is of the utmost quality.

We recently were in a situation in which the mediation needed to take place quickly because of a looming trial date.  Because of the complexities of our case we needed a mediator who knew how to handle this situation.  Other lawyers, both Plaintiffs and Defendants suggested we use Mr. Strauss. Both defense counsel and I agreed to do so.

The mediation took most of the day, and we ultimately reached an amicable settlement with the defense.  We intend to use Mr. Strauss in the future because we believe that his enthusiasm for mediation and his knowledge about the process contributed greatly to our success.  I would certainly recommend his skills as a mediator.

S. Blakely Smith


I am a nurse attorney and I have been litigating medical negligence cases in South Carolina for 15 years.  Since my practice is limited to medical negligence, the vast majority of my cases require a mediator with an understanding of the complex issues of fact, and often complex coverage or cap issues, associated with medical negligence, as well as expertise in dealing with the personalities of the medical care provider defendants and their liability insurance carrier adjusters.

I am writing to advise you that I had the pleasure of having several cases mediated by Mr. Richard Strauss, on nine very complex nursing home cases in which I represented the plaintiffs against a….. nursing facility.  I found Mr. Strauss to be an excellent mediator….. Most importantly, Richard was effectively able to communicate with the attorneys and parties about how the issues and factors presented affected the value of the cases.  I found him to be well-informed, objective and fair-handed throughout the mediation.  I honestly believe that these cases would not have settled if it had not been for Richard Strauss.  I would, without hesitation, utilize his services in the future.

Paul J. Doolittle
Mt. Pleasant


I met a very interesting mediator the other day, and thought he would be invaluable to our settling, early on, before a lot of expenses were incurred.  He was contacted by a defense lawyer on a medical malpractice claim I was handling.  Although I was a little reluctant to utilize Richard’s services, since “the other side” recommended him, because it was mediation, not arbitration, and thus not binding, I agreed to have him mediate our claim.  The claim was mediated before suit was filed, but after I filed my Notice of Intent to File Suit with accompanying medical affidavit.  The mediation took most of a day, and resulted in a settlement.  I was very impressed by Richard for a number of reasons.

First of all, he appeared to be extremely knowledgeable, and in fact had a defense oriented background.  Secondly, he charged a flat fee, rather than one that was time dependent.  Thirdly, he solicited information from me, as the Plaintiff’s attorney, and was well prepared before the mediation.  Fourthly, he did not travel for travel time, mileage, lunch, etc.

At the end of the day, both my clients and I were well pleased with his services, and with the results of the mediation.

I told Richard I was pleased with his services, and asked him for information.  I strongly recommend that with regard to every claim that appears to have any merit whatsoever, since early mediation is required, we recommend Richard.  In fact, I am so confident that he will be able to help and possibly settle a lot of these claims early on, that I would suggest that you allow me, should the need arise, to indicate to the other side that if the matter is mediated and resolved at mediation, we will pay Richard’s entire charge.

That will mean that the other side will only have to pay half his fee if the matter isn’t resolved at mediation.  Fairly obviously, that will enhance the prospects of settling these claims at mediation, and thereby cutting significantly “defense costs”.

This guy did a really great job, better than any mediator I’ve ever dealt with, and even though the defense obtained him, at the end of the day I felt that he was really on our side.  I think he is so skilled at mediating, he will always give the Plaintiff the feeling that he’s on the Plaintiff’s side, that we really will have a good chance of resolving matters early on rather than later on.

Matthew A. Henderson


I am a plaintiff's attorney practicing in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  I recently had the pleasure of working with Richard Strauss who acted as a mediator in a birth injury case.  I found Richard was able to objectively analyze issues, identify risks to both parties and explain matters in such a way that led to the resolution of the dispute.  I heartily recommend Mr. Strauss to anyone who has a need for a mediator in a healthcare issue.  He has a background in working with the healthcare industry.  I was impressed with his level of preparation and understanding of the key issues in the case.  His opening comments were particularly helpful in setting the proper tone which resulted ultimately in resolution of the case.  I have never heard the process explained so well and succinctly.  His opening immediately had a calming affect on my clients in what was a highly emotional case.   I found that he engaged in a thorough discussion and analysis of the issues.  He also had a great ability to invoke comfort to the client while in the private caucus.  His suggestions and presentation of options throughout the negotiation phase of the mediation were extremely helpful.  His unique perspective clearly helped to settle the tragic case I was involved with. I believe Mr. Strauss has the ability to effectively mediate cases regardless of jurisdiction and/or venue. Again, I heartily recommend Richard Strauss as mediator in a healthcare issue.

Charles J. Hodge


I have been practicing law in the State of South Carolina since 1978.  From 1986 until September of 1996, I was a partner in a defense law firm.  My primary area of practice was in the defense of personal injury claims.  From September of 1996 to the present, I have been a partner in a plaintiff's law firm.  My primary area of concern involves personal injury claims resulting from automobile accidents, products liability claims, workers compensation claims, long term care claims and wrongful death litigation.

I have been involved in numerous claims that resulted in either mediation or arbitration of the claims as both a defense attorney and plaintiff attorney.  I recently mediated a personal injury claim on behalf of a plaintiff.  Richard M. Strauss, Esquire served as the mediator.  At the mediation hearing, I had an opportunity to learn of Mr. Strauss' varied background in the areas of medical malpractice, long term care and personal injury claims.  I found that his ability to objectively and impartially analyze the issues, identify the risks to all parties involved, as well as his approach towards the mediation process, were influential factors in leading to the resolution of my claim.  I would highly recommend Mr. Strauss as a mediator to either a plaintiff or defendant involved in a dispute.  I believe that his background in the areas of medical malpractice, long term care and personal injury and wrongful death litigation provide him with a unique opportunity to address the concerns of both plaintiffs and defendants involved in a mediation.

Stephen S. Wilson


I recently participated in a mediation in which we had great difficulty in finding a mediator acceptable to all parties.  The defense attorney recommended we retain Richard Strauss as our mediator.  After investigating Richard's background in mediation with other plaintiffs' attorneys through my affiliation with the American Trial Lawyer's Association (ATLA), I agreed.  Due to scheduling demands and a quickly approaching trial date, we were forced to schedule the mediation on a Saturday.  Richard Strauss graciously agreed to act as mediator and had no objection to the Saturday schedule.

During the mediation, which was a long, difficult and emotional process for my clients who were still grieving the death of their young child, it became apparent that the defense was probably not going to make a sufficient proposal to settle the case.

Richard was unwilling to accept defeat. Richard met with the defense attorneys and adjuster privately and at length to determine if we were at a standoff.  He was able to discover that the real problem was that an unusual coverage issue had developed at the 11th hour.  Since we were mediating on a Saturday, the adjuster could not get final approval on resolution of the coverage issue until the following business day as it exceeded her scope of authority.  After bringing me up to date on the problem, Richard brought all of us together and helped us reach a satisfactory settlement figure, conditioned upon the carrier's approval within 72 hours, which did occur.

It was a long and grueling day, but the case settled and Richard was with us, every step of the way, trying to make it as easy as he could for my clients, as well as for the participating medical care provider defendants.

I plan to utilize Richard Strauss in future mediations and would recommend his skills as a mediator in medical negligence cases.

Diane M. Rodriguez, RN-JD