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Litigation & Arbitration

Nov. 8, 2017

Denise Madigan, Esq.


Madigan denise online

Los Angeles

Business, insurance, intellectual property, entertainment, healthcare, mass torts, personal injury, railroad and public entity disputes

Denise Madigan has been mediating disputes professionally for over 25 years, through regional and national ADR providers and, more recently, through MadiganADR.

Clients choose her because of her ability to absorb and analyze information quickly, identify key issues driving (or blocking) settlement, connect with clients on a personal level, and offer creative solutions for impasse. If "Plan A" is not working, she will come up with Plans B, C and beyond.

Cases she has mediated include:
• Creation of a $200 million settlement fund for railroad accident victims
• Manufacturer/dealer disputes for a Fortune 10 company
• Reimbursement disputes between hospitals and insurance companies
• Partnership dispute between high-profile recording artists
• Disability claims and insurance bad faith
• Copyright, trademark and unfair competition claims
• Public entity disputes around civil rights and public health and safety

Ms. Madigan has been an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine Law School's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution for over 20 years, training judges and lawyers all over the world.

Whether your case is a two-party dispute focused primarily on dollars or a multi-party dispute involving complex issues of law, fact, or party psychology, Ms. Madigan can help you get your case resolved.

She is based in Southern California with offices statewide.

Q&A with Denise Madigan, Esq.

Q: When do you begin the process of a successful mediation in a complex matter? Do you contact the parties in advance after receipt of the mediation briefs to gather intelligence, collect thoughts, answer questions, etc.?
-- David Willingham, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP

A: In complex cases I prefer to speak to counsel early on -- together or separately (depending on the circumstances) -- to get a preliminary sense of the case and to talk about how best to structure the mediation process. I may ask about the nature and history of the dispute, the key issues to be discussed, the underlying interests involved, key players (and personalities), information that should be developed and/or exchanged prior to the first session, methods for developing or exchanging information, the appropriate party representatives with decision-making authority, special confidentiality concerns (beyond discovery and evidence concerns) and any external influences or constraints outside the courtroom (e.g., economic, regulatory, reputational or political). Sometimes clients are included in these early conversations.
In general, I use these preliminary conversations to identify potential land-mines, formulate process recommendations and, if necessary, mediate disagreements about how to proceed.

Q: Do they ever use a joint session? Ten to fifteen years ago we did those with regularity. If not, why not?
-- Brian Kabateck, Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP

A: I tailor my approach to the circumstances. In today's litigated cases, I find that joint sessions usually work best if they are designed to serve a purpose. They need not involve formal opening statements. Initial joint sessions can be as simple as a meet-or-greet. Or they can accomplish specific objectives early on, such as providing an opportunity to clarify a miscommunication or misconception, or to allow one side to evaluate the credibility and appearance of a witness or party on the other side. I often find myself convening "mini" joint sessions in the course of a mediation, usually to address a critical roadblock or to open up a new line of communication, e.g., having lawyers meet to discuss a pending motion or court ruling or having principals meet to express certain (constructive) sentiments or to close the deal themselves.

Q: Do they recommend exchanging briefs with opposing counsel? Why?
-- Brian Kabateck, Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP

A: I normally defer to counsel's wishes. But I prefer that parties exchange as much information as they can prior to the mediation; it can save everyone a substantial amount of time. When briefs are shared, I encourage counsel to send me a confidential supplement, if they like, outlining any private information, requests or insights they think might be helpful for me to know. I would not recommend an exchange of briefs if counsel are unwilling or unable (perhaps due to client instructions) to draft a brief that is not incendiary. If the case is complex, I might also make specific recommendations about what the parties should include in their briefs or share with the other side. If the parties cannot agree on what to share in advance of the mediation session, I will work with them to resolve their differences.


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