I am Steven R. Jacobsen – “The Accidental Lawyer”. I have extensive trial experience, before both judges and juries, and a long track record of winning for my clients. Sometimes a jury trial is the only way to force an insurance company to pay fair compensation. If that is required, I am ready, willing and able to take your case to the jury.
The drawbacks to a jury trial are that juries are unpredictable, and a jury trial can be expensive – even when you win, you pay a lot for the privilege. Often, I can arrange a better, faster and less expensive way to resolve your claim – through various methods of “alternative dispute resolution” or ADR. ADR is designed to arrive at a just result while saving all parties the cost of a jury trial. The most common forms of ADR are arbitration and mediation.
Arbitration is like a mini-trial, conducted by a neutral attorney or retired judge selected by the parties or appointed by the court to decide the issues in your case. Testimony is given under oath and exhibits are admitted into evidence – just as in a trial in court. The arbitrator then decides who wins and how much they win. If the parties agree ahead of time, the decision reached in the case will be final and binding. More often, the arbitration will be non-binding, and either party, if dissatisfied with the arbitration decision, may request a trial in the court. Even non-binding arbitrations often result in a settlement of the claim because both parties agree with the result.
I have many years of experience in successfully representing my clients in both binding and non-binding arbitrations. You can benefit from my experience by enlisting my help to have your case resolved quickly, fairly and with less expense to you.
In mediation, the parties make all the decisions. A mediator is present to assist the parties in reaching agreement. Mediations are never binding -- if you are satisfied, you settle; if not, you don’t. Mediations are confidential. If no settlement is reached, the other side can’t use against you what you said at the mediation.
I have special training in conducting and participating in mediations. I have successfully resolved countless cases over many years through mediation. Because of my experience, I am able to select mediators who will be helpful in the resolution of your claim, and will have an open mind about the merits of your case.
Above all, in choosing among trial, arbitration or mediation, I will take the course which is the best for you. You can count on “The Accidental Lawyer”.