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Snyder: How Thorough Do You Have to Be?

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Scientists test every theory before they publish a paper of their results. The experimentation process can be long and expensive. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through that.

Teddy Snyder

Teddy Snyder

As soon as you get a file, you will start making decisions about how serious the case is. On the claimant side, the first decision is whether to accept the case, including what kind of time and budget it will require. On the defense side, the client and counsel need to assess severity (is it a bet-the-company case/is coverage available and adequate?) and possibly set reserves.

Even at the earliest stages, in most cases, you have enough information to begin the negotiation and dispute resolution process. No, you don’t need to look under every rock for every crumb of information.

This claim may have started with a demand letter — a first opportunity for negotiation. Before litigation or before the parties undertake expensive discovery, consider convening a mediation.

Discovery will uncover facts that affect the evaluation of the case. After all, that is why you do it. Otherwise, you are just spinning your wheels. Use that new information to suggest meeting with the mediator to conclude the case.

If that discovery leads parties to file potentially dispositive motions, the period while the motions are pending is another promising window for negotiation.

Attorney Teddy Snyder mediates workers' compensation cases throughout California. She can be contacted through snydermediations.com.

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