Attorney and Land Dispute Mediator Philip Hundl talks about two more tips for success in land mediation. Call or text 800-266-4870 for an appointment. Appointments can be online, by phone or in person.
Summary of Success in Land Mediation – Part Two
Hi, I’m Philip Hundl. I am an attorney and land dispute mediator. My mediation and my law practices focus on land disputes, which include cases concerning easements, condemnation, and partitions. This is the second of my videos giving tips for success in land mediation. Here’s a link to my first video.
Number Three – Pare Down the Issues
Pare down the issues for success in land mediation. The more you pare down the issues, the less that you have to fight about at mediation. If there are fewer issues to deal with, mediation will be simpler with a greater chance for success.
For example in a pipeline condemnation case, the mediation is going to deal with the easement terms. Possibly there’s going to be a well, but there’s almost always a dispute over the easement terms and the monetary compensation. So you’ve got non-monetary terms that the parties are dealing with and then monetary terms.
The more that the attorneys can whittle down down the easement terms that are in disagreement before the mediation, the more the mediation can focus on the monetary damage portion. The attorneys should try to work on those easement agreements before mediation.
If it’s a partition case and one of the tracts is going to be partitioned out and received by one of the parties, maybe the mediation can settle the road access easement. Try to get at least a form easement agreement for ingress and egress to the other side so that they can start working on it.
What you don’t want to do is at the 11th hour in a partition case is figure out how to divide the land and then reach an impasse on the road access. One party might say the easement agreement needs to require that your party pays for all the road maintenance. Perhaps there are too many gates or there’s a disagreement about the location of the road access.
So for success in land mediation, please pare down the issues.
Number Four – Bring Authority to the Mediation
Number four tip for success in land mediation is to bring authority to the mediation. Now you may say that all parties to the litigation will be there. Most of the time they are.
However when there are multiple owners of a piece of property this can be more of an issue. A property may be owned by four family members. The condemnor is going to want all four family members to settle the case.
So If you’ve got one client of the four who absolutely refuses to go to mediation then the condemnor may say let’s have a mediation with whoever is willing to mediate. Do they oftentimes settle with some of the parties and not all parties? Sure. But once again for a better chance of success in land mediation, everyone is expected to be there and attorneys should do their best to make sure everyone’s there.
If the parties can’t be there, then make sure that someone has authority for that person through a power of attorney or limited power of attorney. This is not uncommon with a husband and wife. Sometimes one can’t get off work. Sometimes one has been involved with the litigation more than the other.
Don’t just assume that one spouse will sign for the other one. Make sure that that attending spouse has a power of attorney to be able to settle that case.
Now can a party just attend via phone? Sure. It’s probably less effective but it can be done. Now we’re doing Zoom mediations. I’ve been able to get some cases settled in a Zoom mediation. Yes. It;s still less effective than an in-person mediation.
I’m still doing in-person mediations, but I’m taking some precautions and being considerate of what the clients feel more comfortable with.
So to improve your chance of success in land mediation make sure that the authority is present to settle the case.
Get Started for Success in Land Mediation
Your preparation for mediation will likely have an impact on your success in land mediation. Talk with the experienced mediator who can help you arrive prepared to reach solutions. Call or text 800-266-4870 for an appointment with Mediator Philip Hundl.