I'm Mike Hackard. I've written two books about estate & trust litigation. Both books include particular observations as to mediation. When we think of "the best day," few of us would think of litigation. I probably wouldn't make the connection but for a statement that many mediators give at the beginning of an estate & trust mediation day.
Representing clients in California life insurance beneficiary disputes a part of what we do at Hackard Law in addition to our estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation practice.
Whenever mediation occurs it is usually a day-long event - an event that often includes a "hard day's night." The process involves a neutral mediator that helps effectuate negotiation between the attorneys for estates, trusts, heirs, and beneficiaries. Clients are deeply involved in the process and are understandably swept with emotion as offers and counter-offers come in.
Trust beneficiary mediations are emotional. Alzheimer's, dementia, stepmothers, split families, undue influence and missing estate assets are threads that often run through the fabric of mediated estate and trust disputes. Passions run high. Feelings of betrayal mixed with grief are common to trust challengers and a protective belief of entitlement is common to the challenged.
This is the biggest mediation year in our law firm's history. The milestone is significant for our clients, their adversaries and all lawyers involved in the prosecution and defense of estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation.
This is a busy year for estate and trust mediation - the alternative dispute process in which the parties to a lawsuit meet with a neutral third-party, often a retired judge, in an effort to settle the case. Our litigation practice includes California's largest urban areas and so, not coincidentally, does our presence at mediations. While mediations can be dramatically different there are some constants - including strong emotions.