Magnus is often retained prior to mediation to assist in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of a case in anticipation of resolving a case. Prior to mediation, Magnus can employ one of several methodologies to explore case issues or to analyze the liability and damages positions. In some instances, a Focus Group is used to assess case from the perspective of decision makers – (mock) jurors. Most often, however, Case Strength Evaluation Research (CSER) is utilized to explore the relative liability and damages positions of the parties. For plaintiffs, the favorableness of a settlement offer can be evaluated in comparison to conclusions reached by mock juries. For defendants, pre-mediation research can help determine whether the case at hand is one which should be settled (and for what damages range) or which might result in a defense verdict. Furthermore, both plaintiff and defense teams will benefit by having a common ground perspective for both the client and the trial team.
Magnus has frequently been aware that clients’ expectations and attorneys’ expectations are out of alignment. Conducting pre-mediation research has engendered a favorable settlement to many cases because all the members of the team and the client are “on the same page.” In addition, negotiating leverage can be gained with the information from pre-mediation research. Magnus’ results (reports and deliberations videos) are often used during negotiations to make the “other side” aware of the reaction of likely jurors to the case issues.
Pre-mediation research gives the trial team and the client insights into the desirability of reaching a settlement, and, if the case is not resolved at mediation, the team is better prepared to move forward to trial.