You meet with your lawyer before the mediation. You are the plaintiff in challenging a trust. Maybe the challenge is based on incapacity. Maybe vulnerability to undue influence. Maybe even fraud.
You’ve never been to a mediation and you don’t quite know what to expect. Will you have to sit across from the person who took your loved one’s estate? Will you only be with your own lawyer? How long will the mediator be with you and your lawyer? Will the mediator want to speak with you? Is there anything that you should say? Shouldn’t say?
Okay – lots of questions – with answers to them occurring throughout the day. The mediation is going late – maybe late afternoon – in some cases late evening. As the hours pass, you’ll likely feel a combination of fatigue and pessimism that at times will turn to optimism. You’ll find that there are two clashing ideas in your head – ideas that somehow coexist. You will have a desire for resolution often with a nagging sense of unfairness.
You are the one that had to bring the action. To right the wrong. It cost you. In time. In money. In emotional turmoil. Still, you want resolution. Some call this torture. Others accept the circumstances, but not the injustice.
You still need the ability to function. To get to the end of this process. You are struggling with endings. You want it to be over. You want the best result, too. Once there’s a conclusion, it is over. Is this the best you can do?
You’re in a quandary. At some point if you settle, it will be imperfect. Clients often say it is good enough. It will have to do. The other choice is to go to trial. A long process – an expensive process – and a process subject to appeal.
I’m Mike Hackard. I lead Hackard Law in estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation.
I write and speak about various elements that are part and parcel of such litigation.
The emotions described, while not universal, are still quite common in parties to mediation.
If you want to discuss your case with us, call us at Hackard Law: (916) 313-3030.