UPDATE RE: ONLINE MEDIATIONS IN LIGHT OF COVID-19

(AS OF JANUARY 2021)

"Given COVID-19's impact on our communities and industry, I remain committed to effectively using the Zoom platform to mediate and settle cases throughout California that are ready for resolution such that the online mediation experience will be functionally and substantively the same as, or as close as possible to, an in-person mediation."

 

  • Can cases settle via Zoom?

    • Yes. Since March 17, 2020, I have mediated 200+ cases via Zoom with an appreciable settlement rate. The aforementioned have been personal injury and employment cases, as well as others (e.g., consumer class action, habitability, etc.) with varying degrees of complexity, case value, and number of parties/participants. Zoom mediations have proven to be highly effective and a viable alternative to in-person hearings. My experience thus far has been that if a case that I have mediated via Zoom has not settled, it has not been solely because the mediation was not in-person.

 

  • My Presentation Re "Developing Online Trust and Rapport During a Zoom Mediation" - Starting at 15m 30 sec.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Client testimonials about their experience mediating with me via Zoom?

 

  • "Mitch is as strong and relentless as any mediator in the legal field.  Mitch was extraordinarily prepared for our matter, which included many parties and evolving issues arising from a delicate personal injury matter.  His ability and willingness to create unique solutions for our difficult problems help us resolved this matter.  Not only did he provide a keen understanding of the issues and the law based on his own ongoing law practice, Mitch’s persistent and caring follow-ups helped us settle the matter and avoid unnecessary trial preparation costs.  I cannot emphasize enough how many times Mitch worked with us following the mediation, despite his busy mediation schedule, in order to finally resolve our matter.  Days or nights, Mitch was there to see us cross the finish line.  Moreover, his personable and relatable demeanor was a welcome gift while mediating virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. I highly recommend mediating with Mitch not only during this unusual time through the pandemic, but also in the eventual better days that will come.  T.S. - Defense Counsel.

  • "Mitch's ability to seamlessly navigate Zoom with the use of his tablet and screen share made the experience much more enjoyable and engaging. It was like being in person without being served a sandwich. Mitch's technical skill and engaging mediation style is only surpassed by his ability to resolve at fair value. Mitch is one of my top 5 mediators I routinely use."  L.Q. - Plaintiff's Counsel.  

  • "We have utilized Mr. Tarighati as our mediator for a number of cases, including virtual “Zoom” mediations during this pandemic. Each time, we have felt that Mr. Tarighati’s knowledge of the subject matter, preparation, style, and understanding of the litigation process has provided our office and our client with the best opportunity to resolve the matter. As a practicing attorney himself, Mr. Tarighati understands and explains the litigation process and risks of trial to the participants in way that helps attorneys and their clients process their decisions more effectively and make better judgments. He is also creative and nimble in finding new avenues for resolution when the parties seem deadlocked. Most recently, Mr. Tarighati has displayed a deft ability to use Zoom to communicate with the parties and their attorneys, thereby making the virtual mediation process seamless. Mitch is on our short-list of preferred mediators!”  D.A.E. - Defense Counsel.

  • "I want to share my experience mediating a case with Mitch Tarighati for the first time on Zoom (also a first). Mitch is a pro and worked really hard to bring the case to resolution. He was great at cutting to the chase and addressing the issues that went to the heart of the case, after first putting everyone at ease by explaining the process to my client. I really liked his style of getting to know my client better and focusing on the human story rather than medical bills and numbers.  Also appreciated his sense of humor. The fact that the mediation was on Zoom made no difference in settling the case.  In fact, it was a better experience (minus no snacks in the Zoom room) in the sense that there's more freedom to do other things during downtime, no hassle with driving, and finding parking. Mitch implemented share screen option and white board to visually demonstrate some things he wanted to communicate, as did I. The experience was smooth from start to finish.  I highly recommend Mitch!"  M.D. - Plaintiff's Counsel.

 

  • "Thank you so much for all your help in getting this one resolved! The Zoom format worked out great. Really appreciate it so much."  G.M. - Defense Counsel.

 

  • "We had a great experience working with Mitch and especially appreciated his tireless efforts to get the case resolved after the mediation ended.  The use of Zoom for our mediation also went off without issue.  I will definitely recommend using him again as he seemed to have a great relationship with the attorneys and clients in all rooms."  C.G.F. - Plaintiff's Counsel.

 

  • "Mr. Tarighati has the unique ability to get through to parties, and did so effectively using remote mediation tools such as Zoom. Mr. Tarighati is courteous and professional and has the ability to understand the nuances of a case to drive the matter towards resolution.”  A.T.A. - Plaintiff's Counsel.

 

  • "While mediations via ZOOM are not the same thing as being there face to face with the mediator, Mitch did a tremendous job making you feel like you were right there in the room with him. Mitch handled the entering and exiting of private rooms  without a hiccup and spent quality time with both sides. Best of all, he helped us get the case settled.    It was the first time I used Mitch, but it won’t be the last. I will definitely utilize his mediation services in the future.  Thanks Mitch!"  V.K. - Claims Examiner.

 

  • "All our mediations so far have been done in person so my law firm was hesitant to use zoom for mediation. However, mediator Mitch Tarighati put any doubt about zoom mediation to rest. He prepared for the mediation as though all those who participated were there with him. He was on top by familiarizing himself with the entire case and knowing what the core issues were to resolve. Needless to say, the mediation ended successfully. My client was impressed with Mr. Tarighati's professionalism and expertise."  A.F.C. - Plaintiff's Counsel.

 

  • "In my thirty years of litigation, I have attended hundreds of mediations with mediators ranging from court appointed and low cost to very expensive retired Judges and truly believe that Mitch Tarighati is one of the best. I first started using his services before he joined ADR and will continue to use him because he gets the job done. If he can’t get it settled during the mediation, he works tirelessly afterwards to try to settle the case. I recently used Mitch, during the pandemic, for a Zoom Mediation and he successfully settled the case one week after the mediation."  T.P - Defense Counsel.     

 

  • "Rarely have I encountered a mediator that works as hard as Mitch does to get a case settled - he stayed with us till 8 at night and throughout subsequent days to get our case resolved and is willing to try absolutely anything and everything. The virtual format was not nearly as foreign as I had feared and Mitch ran things so smoothly and was so familiar with Zoom's special tools for mediators (such as separate virtual rooms for the parties) that it actually felt quite similar to a traditional mediation."  A.K. - Plaintiff's Counsel.

 

  • "I just settled a contentious trucking accident case with mediator Mitch Tarighati over Zoom. I’ve had mixed experiences with Zoom mediation – some neutrals just do not seem comfortable with it. Mitch was very effective, knew the software really well, and kept the whole process moving. He’s also got a strong litigation background and really understands how carriers value claims. Strongly recommend him."  B.P.M. - Defense Counsel. 

 

  • "Mitch is an outstanding mediator. Truly one of the best. He constantly is coming up with creative ways to bridge gaps and move parties toward the middle. His persuasion and resolution skills are second to none. When Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown happened, I had a mediation scheduled with him, and the other side and I agreed to move forward via a Zoom mediation. Before it started, I was a bit skeptical as to how well mediating via Zoom would work. But it worked great, just the same as if we were there in person. Mitch and the technical folks at ADR Services can take you and your clients in and out of virtual “rooms” so that you can meet just with your clients, just with Mitch, with Mitch and opposing counsel, or any other combination. It really was quite seamless. And, yeah, oh by the way, the case settled. So, if you are on the fence about mediating via Zoom, don’t be. Pick Mitch as your mediator, mediate and settle your case."  M.M. - Plaintiff's Counsel.

 

  • “This was my third mediation since the epidemic, and the first where Zoom was used flawlessly.  Mitch pulled us in and out of rooms, and made it feel like an in-person mediation.  Most importantly, he got it done!”  A.B. – Plaintiff’s Counsel.

 

  • “I have mediated many cases with Mitch over the last couple years and every case has settled for fair value.  I recently participated in two Zoom mediations with Mitch and both settled as well.  Mitch’s compassionate mediation style easily translates to Zoom.  Mitch takes the time to explain the process to my clients, gains their trust, and carefully evaluates the positive aspects of the case and the difficulties.  Settlement are confirmed before we conclude the mediation, and documents are provided shortly after conclusion of the mediation and quickly signed with e-signatures.  Due to Mitch’s excellent work, I hope to utilize Zoom mediations long after we return to our office.” S.P. – Plaintiff’s Counsel.

 

  • “You did a great job for us. We will certainly use you again, and will recommend you (already have). You worked our case hard, you listened to our position, and you clearly worked well with all parties, including our very high up the food chain adjuster. The parties were a long way apart with their “last, best, and final” offers, yet you were able to pull us together and get our case settled. I also appreciate your willingness to really grind out this case when both sides refused to consider a mediator’s proposal. Your use of the Zoom technology was pretty-well seamless – I had not mediated via video conference before.  Similarly, the closing documents were as easy as they would have been in person.  While Zoom might be a somewhat odd way to have our first mediation together, it was very successful indeed.” N.A.F. – Defense Counsel.

 

  • "I wanted to share a recent outstanding experience that I had in a Zoom mediation during Covid with Mitch Tarighati. I was a bit skeptical and uncertain whether a mediation would be effective via Zoom. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Mr. Tarighati made the entire process very easy and the mediation went very smooth. The breakout rooms feature was very effective. He would get in and out of the meetings easily. When he was out of the room, I could speak with our client easily. The unexpected factor for me was how he was able to push the parties despite not being there in person. Because of his patience, knowledge and tenacity, we were able to resolve a heavily litigated dog bite case before Trial. My experience mediating with Mitch via Zoom was amazing. I highly recommend Mr. Tarighati to anyone looking to settle their case!"  T.B. - Plaintiff's Counsel. 

 

  • “You made the technology extremely easy for us to use. We felt very comfortable throughout the process. You provided the same attention that you would normally provide if we were physically present at the mediation. There was no noticeable difference! We felt that our privacy needs were met. You were able to facilitate the closing documents. This was my first time of doing Zoom mediation. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how effective Zoom mediation was. It was a very positive experience for me and I think that it will become the way to mediate cases in the future. I strongly recommend my colleagues to give Zoom mediation a chance. I am optimistic that they will find this method very effective.”  E.C. – Defense Counsel.

 

  • "I recently participated in my first mediation with Mr. Tarighati, and it happened to be online too. Despite my strong preference for in-person sessions, it was a great pleasure and experience for both my client and myself. Mr. Tarighati certainly has a strong grasp of the unique issues associated with personal injury cases, but his persuasive demeanor and his ability to get along with everyone made settlement an achievable reality. He also had command of the videoconferencing technology where it became quite beneficial and a great convenience over the usual trek to his Downtown L.A. office. I wholeheartedly would recommend Mr. Tarighati’s mediation services and would consider using him again in the future."  B.A.L. - Plaintiff's Counsel.

 

  • “I felt the Zoom mediation process was almost no different than the in-person mediation process in terms of effectiveness.  Mr. Tarighati ran the show and my clients were comfortable and at ease with the entire process.  I've mediated with almost everyone, including the higher priced mediators at other providers, but Mitch Tarighati is the best of them all.”  K.R.S. – Plaintiff’s Counsel. 

 

  • How much “clicking around” do you have to do during the Zoom session?

    • Nominal to none. I will assign you to a private room which may require you to click “join” once. If you have to join another breakout room (to speak with me privately, or for a group meeting), then you may have to click “join” once more. The only other time you may need to do anything is to “mute” your own "online room" if you want to have a private conversation in the "physical room" wherein you are located. Other than that, no need not do anything.

 

  • What level of privacy should you expect during an online mediation?

    • The same as you would have in an in-person mediation. If you are participating via video, you will also be able to see who is “in your room” whether via video or telephone. Each party will have their own private breakout room. I label each room so that the occupants always know that they are in the right room, as well as knowing that the correct people are in their room. I will be moving between the breakout rooms to speak with each party. The parties in other breakout rooms will not be able to see or hear anything that is happening in your breakout room, and neither will I if I am not in your room. Lastly, you can at any time “mute” your audio and/or video settings in the event you want 100% privacy from anyone else in your “online room.”

 

  • Is the online mediation secure from “outside” sources?

    • Yes. The sessions are password protected. Participants are allowed in by invitation only. Once all intended participants are in the meeting, I “lock” the meeting, meaning that no one else will be allowed to log in or otherwise participate.

  • Do the same confidentiality protections apply to online mediations?

    • Yes. Mediation confidentiality also applies to hearings conducted telephonically or through Zoom. I will circulate, and each party will have to execute, my Mediation and Confidentiality Agreement which fully sets for the protections involved.

 

  • Can any part of the mediation be recorded?

    • No. The Zoom setting allowing anyone to record the mediation has been disabled. Also, my Mediation and Confidentiality Agreement which all parties must sign specifically forbids any form of recording of the mediation process on any device.

 

  • Can you get the Mediator’s attention while he is not in your room?

    • Yes. I provide my cell # to all participants and invite them to call or text me whenever they want my attention, or participants can use the "Ask for Help" function to get my attention.

 

  • Can you sign settlement agreements during the mediation?

    • Yes. I work with counsel, while everyone is still on the Zoom session, to circulate and sign closing documents.

 

  • Can ADR Services, Inc., and/or the Mediator provide technical support and/or training?

    • Yes. Both I and the ADR Services' Zoom Task Force can assist you prior to and/or during the Zoom session.

​​© Copyright 2012 - 2020 - Sepassi & Tarighati, LLP

The information presented in this website should not be construed as legal advice nor serve to create an attorney-client relationship.  

Nothing stated in this website is intended, or should be construed, as there being a partnership, an endorsement or an affiliation

between the owner of this website and any third party or third party company identified in this website.

Terms and rates subject to change without notice. All rights are reserved.