How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JimLawyer Your Own Question
JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13571
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
97337639
Type Your Law Question Here...
JimLawyer is online now

I hope your week is going well. Please could you advise me

This answer was rated:

Hello Jim, I hope your week is going well.
Please could you advise me on the below?
I have a PTR on 14th May and a defence strike out hearing on 11th June (the court didn't schedule the latter on the same day as the PTR for some reason).
I submitted the Expert Witness report to the Court and to the defendant last week and the report backs up my claim.
The defendant is now proposing mediation.
1. Do I have to agree to this if our dispute is already undergoing court proceedings? I really don't think mediation will help at this stage as I know for sure the defendant will not settle for a reasonable compromise. Also, I don't think I should have to split the cost of mediation when I know it won't be successful. Plus it's so close to the PTR and I want that to go ahead.
2. I've drafted an email based on some research I did (see attached) but I want to make sure I don't shoot myself in the foot as I know refusing to mediate might not go down well with the court. Please could you let me know if my reasons for refusal are valid or not?
Thanks very much in advance.

Hello, this is Jim and thanks for the further question.

Mediation is encouraged by the courts - it is designed to try and help the parties reach a settlement. It takes both parties to agree - you don't have to - but if there is any common ground then it could mean the dispute settles without having to go further through the court process. If you know it won't succeed, say you're too far apart on various issues, then there is no point - I would agree. I have seen your opponent's email and clearly they still have assistance from their paralegal. I also think your response is absolutely fine - in a case such as yours, mediation or any other form of ADR is not compulsory. It's a waste of time if there is little to no common ground. Its can be used to prolong matters and to bully an unsuspecting party so I do not think, based on the facts, it is suitable here. I know the courts can penalise parties if they don't try to settle but they have levied some very serious allegations and it wouldn't be correct to throw money at a useless meeting (in my view).

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you Jim! Yes, his paralegal is still helping him. But he's not smart like you, so the defendant has not chosen wisely. They probably thought I'd be bullied into submission by now. I will tidy up the wording in my email and send it. It will rile them up but I'll ignore any subsequent rants and will see what happens at the PTR in a couple of weeks. I'm so tempted to end my email with 'see you in court' as I'm so fed up of them, but I'll refrain. :)

Yes, you will receive further rants and unpleasant communications but I would try and ignore them. I know what you mean about the see you in court phrase - if the paralegal was doing their job properly they would advise their "client" about the merits of your case but I don't think they have - but yes, see what happens at the PTR and let me know the outcome - hope it goes well. Speak soon, have a good weekend.

JimLawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thanks a lot Jim. I will surely ignore any further emails. The defendant has no doubt been smug from the outset as he’s got a paralegal/trainee solicitor friend fighting his corner. Well more fool him, because I’ve got Jim! :)
Again, I’m truly grateful for all the invaluable help and advice you’ve given me. You’re the best!
I will definitely let you know the outcome of the PTR – I wish the strike out hearing was on the same day, but it’s only 4 weeks later so I’ll be patient. Whatever the outcome of my claim, I hope this makes them think twice before taking advantage of people. But then again, some people never learn.
Have a wonderful bank holiday weekend and I’ll chat to you in a couple of weeks, if not sooner.
Bye for now.