In late 1987, United States District Court Judge Robert E. Maxwell, together with members of the West Virginia State Bar Association, established “Settlement Week” for the Northern District of West Virginia.  This was the first formal application of the mediation process in West Virginia (an excellent article about the imprint Judge Maxwell made in this area of the law can be found in the Intermountain).  Having witnessed the success of this initiative, in the early 1990s the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals adopted its “Rules of Procedure for Court Annexed Mediation.”  Those rules have since been amended and the rules governing mediation are now found beginning at Rule 25 of the West Virginia Trial Court Rules.

Although I was not a participant in the early formulation of mediation processes in West Virginia, having graduated from law school in 1985, I soon recognized the benefit to my clients of the potential for early resolution of cases through mediation.  As a result, even before becoming a mediator, I have represented clients, both individuals and Fortune 500 companies, in resolving litigation matters through literally hundreds of mediated settlements in almost all of West Virginia’s fifty-five counties.  Of course, in order to achieve favorable settlements for my clients, I have gone into each mediation prepared and knowledgeable about the facts, law and other factors which may impact the case at trial.  As a mediator, I have brought this same experience and approach to achieving impartial, pragmatic results for the parties.

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