Benjamin Barrett Sr. returned to his alma mater, Cleveland State University John Marshall College of Law, this week to serve on a panel that discussed alternate dispute resolution in medical malpractice cases. Mediation is a meeting during which a neutral mediator attempts to get the parties to voluntarily agree to settle the lawsuit. The mediator oversees an open discussion with the parties about the strengths and weaknesses of each side's position and then is involved in the negotiation process.
Ben was joined on the panel by former Cuyahoga County judge and current private mediator, Peggy Foley Jones, and Stark County and private mediator, Jeff Wilkof. The three gave CSU law students an overview regarding mediation and arbitration as methods to resolve medical malpractice claims.
Ben's segment dealt with an attorney's preparation for mediation, including the office conference with the client prior to mediation, drafting of a mediation statement for the mediator and opposing counsel, and tactics in mediation. The panel also answered many questions posed by the students.
Although the vast majority of Ben's legal practice involves the representation of clients in medical malpractice and nursing home abuse claims, Ben does agree to serve as a private mediator for other parties approximately ten times a year. When serving as a mediator, Ben has been very successful in bringing the parties together for a voluntary settlement of the claims.