Digesti Mediation and ADR Services
Ronald Digesti's Experience
In both my mediation/arbitration practice, as well as in my private practice, I have experience with many areas of civil litigation in numerous jurisdictions. Each case is unique and there cannot be a “standard” way of handling it. Often a case will encompass several areas of the law. Being flexible is the key to a successful result. Below is a list of the kinds of disputes that I have mediated or arbitrated. I will be happy to answer any general questions that you might have about them, since confidentiality obligations preclude me from discussing details of a particular case.
My goal in a mediation is to facilitate a resolution of the dispute by helping the parties focus on what they can agree on, accept what they can’t agree on, while at the same time, coming to an agreement that they can live with. I get them to realize that there are no winners or losers in a mediation; that is what happens at trial. What happens at mediation is that the matter gets resolved, without any judgments made, in a private setting, free of conflict. That does not mean that the parties go home after a successful mediation feeling that they got everything that they wanted. That usually does not happen because a settlement depends on compromise. Compromise by definition means that each party has to be flexible, open minded, and willing to give and take, in order to achieve a resolution.
In my 32 years of practice in civil litigation and criminal defense, I experienced a wide variety of cases. I was fortunate in that I had the opportunity to get a lot of trial practice very early in my career. This resulted in years of experience in discovery, law and motion, trial preparation, and trial practice. I enjoyed it immensely, but I realized that there is a better way to resolve the majority of disputes. I began as a temporary judge assisting the court at the mandatory settlement conferences. I found that I had a real talent for getting difficult cases settled. At this time, I also began handling private mediations as well as being a neutral and arbitrator for the court. I enjoyed the variety cases, their complexity, and meeting and working with the parties and lawyers.
I often compare a difficult case to a large boulder sitting on a hillside. The settlement is at the bottom of the hill. The boulder will not budge unless someone pushes it. My goal as a mediator is to get one of the parties to “push” the boulder by making a realistic settlement proposal. Once the boulder starts moving, it picks up momentum (through negotiation) until it reaches the bottom and stops (the settlement). I get a tremendous satisfaction by assisting the parties in the settlement of what appeared to be an “impossible” case, thereby allowing the parties to put the matter behind them and move on to more enjoyable life experiences.
I realize that there are certain cases which will have to be resolved through litigation. But I firmly believe that the vast majority of cases can and should be resolved by the parties themselves, hopefully sooner than later before costs mount up. Although it happens, it is unusual that a party does better taking a case to trial rather than resolving it through mediation, because of the enormous litigation costs involved.