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How often are cases settled after mediation?

Sarasota, FL |

My case wasn't settled during mediation, so I am wondering how often are cases generally settled before trial?

Attorney Answers 6


  1. I do not know the specific settlement statistics for Florida. In California, approximately 95% of civil cases settle out of court. Many of these settle at a mediation. Others settle outside of mediation. (Parties are always free to discuss settlement informally, as well as during formal mediations or settlement conferences.) I suspect majority of cases which go to mediation settle. However, it is not at all unusual for a mediation to be unsuccessful. I have had cases which did not settle at a mediation settle later. (Sometimes momentum gained at the mediation is helpful in achieving a settlement, even if the case did not settle at the mediation.) I have had other cases which settled only after multiple mediation sessions. The fact that your case did not settle at the mediation does not mean that you can not ultimately achieve a settlement.

    This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. I believe the statistics fluctuate between 90 to 95 percent of cases settling at some point before trial. Just because it did not settle at mediation does NOT by any means it won't settle before trial. Sometimes mediations take place prematurely, which results in a waste of time and no settlement. Often you can ask the judge for a settlement conference with the Court (often called a "Mandatory Settlement Conference"), and those are usually held closer to trial. Also, after expert discovery is completed, all parties essentially know everything they are going to know to start the trial, so cases often settle after expert depositions are completed. The bottom line is, YES there is a very good chance that your case will still settle before trial even though it did not settle at trial. Of course I don't know anything about your case so this is just basic information and NOT legal advice. I wish you the best of luck in settling your case or prevailing at trial.

    Nothing stated here is meant to be construed or shall be deemed to be legal advice for any person or any purpose. This is response is being provided to provide informational type answers to hypothetical questions or questions that any lawyer, including myself, would need more information before being able to provide anything that could be considered legal advice. In addition, the information should not be relied upon without consulting with a knowledgeable attorney in your area and/or practicing in the field for which your question relates. We hope the information is helpful, but no attorney-client or other relationship is formed by the providing or reading of this information.


  3. As statistical trivia, most attorneys will tell you that settlement before trial occurs in between 80-90 percent of civil cases, depending on the jurisdiction. However, the outcome of your case, whether determined by settlement or by trial, will depend on a variety of factors. In some cases, clients want the proverbial pound of flesh and refuse to settle, no matter how reasonable the mediation or settlement offer. In other cases, particularly where there are a myriad of issues or the points of contention are particularly heated, multiple mediation sessions may be necessary before the parties ultimately come to a final agreement. The fact that a first mediation session does not resolve a case does not necessarily mean that another would not. However, it isn't particularly helpful to know that 99% of cases filed in your court settle before trial if your adversary is determined to put you in front of a jury. The goal of mediation is to open the parties' eyes to find an outcome all parties can live with. If your adversary goes into mediation (particularly involuntary, court-ordered mediation, in my experience) with a closed mind, it is probably not going to be fruitful.

    This response is provided for informational use only, and is not intended as legal advice.


  4. Trial lawyers in Florida will differ but the common wisdom is that 90 to 95% of cases settle before trial.Sometimes ,unfortunately, mediations are used to "feel out" the opposing side rather than a good faith effort to settle on that day.
    This doesn't mean that the mediation won't lead to further ,informal discussions that will eventually lead to a settlement or even sometimes to a second mediation.
    You don't describe the type of lawsuit is pending. Obviously ,there can be specific factors at play that would increase or decrease the chances of settlement before trial.In Florida , most cases are ordered to mediation so that some cases with no chance of settlement end up in mediation simply to comply with the court's order.


  5. As a professional Mediator in Louisiana, I can tell you that about 80% of the cases that I mediate are settled on the day of Mediation. Of the remaining 20%, probably half of those settle within the next couple of weeks, based on the progress made in Mediation; and of the other 10%, probably half of those will eventually settle prior to trial. This is consistent with the other Answers you have already received, to the effect that about 95% of all civil suits are settled prior to trial. So you should not be terribly discouraged that your case did not settle at Mediation; if you are concerned, however, and would REALLY like to settle, you need to let your attorney know that. Your attorney may be able to reopen negotiations in such a way as to increase the prospects for settlement, without necessarily jeopardizing your negotiating position.

    David Cook is an Attorney and Mediator licensed to practice law in the State of Louisiana. The response herein is not intended to be legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is intended only to provide general information about the question presented; but since the question often fails to include significant and important facts that, if known, might significantly change the response, Dave strongly advises the questioner to promptly confer with an attorney in his or her own state in order to ensure that appropriate legal advice is timely received.


  6. The vast majority of cases filed in the state of Florida settle without the need for trial. Such settlements can occur at any number of points in the case. Your question does not clarify whether you attended a court ordered mediation at the close of discovery, a presuit mediation, or a mediation scheduled by the parties outside of a trial order. Thus, we are speaking only in generalities. Having said that, mediation may serve as one of the best opportunities to resolve a matter, if the parties have undertaken the necessary work to evaluate the evidence, the parties, the legal arguments, the witnesses, etc. prior to attending mediation. Conversely, a statutorily mandated presuit mediation often serves very little purpose. Where the parties, on their own, scheduled the mediation, one would presuppose that both parties were interested in attempting to resolve the matter. Knowing the nature of the mediation would assist in answering your question. Again, though, speaking in generalities, because approximately 95% and even up to 98% of cases in certain litigation areas resolve without a trial, the simple answer is that the dialogue that occurred at mediation often continues up to, and sometimes into, trial. Sometimes the judge will even insert himself into the process by hinting at certain future rulings to incentivize parties to give more serious consideration to resolving the matter. Of course, as a matter proceeds to trial, the plaintiff ever more faces the potential to recover nothing at all at trial, while the defendant has to come to grips with the exposure, i.e., financial, damage to reputation, etc., that a jury verdict might bring. For each party, as the trial looms, these issues often, but not always, tend to focus even the most stubborn litigant.

    This answer is strictly for informational purposes, and not to be considered legal advice. Best of luck with the resolution of your matter.