A study by the University of Chicago has examined the ways in which humans react to and evaluate different types of loss. The research finds that humans value emotional and economic loss differently when these losses are considered separately versus when they are considered in combination with each other. These different valuing systems lead to different outcomes in mediation.
At times, it can seem the law defies logic. Take the following scenario as an example. You and another party are in dispute over some issue. Maybe you have a difference of opinion over contract terms or a construction project. Maybe you need to resolve a parenting issue in the wake of a divorce.
We have observed in previous posts that the use of mediation to sort out issues in a Pennsylvania divorce can present challenges. Because the process requires a willingness on the part of both parties to approach resolving disputed family law matters with an attitude of cooperation, mediation might not be for everyone.
Regular visitors to our site may be familiar with our "Best of the Hotline" feature. This is a section where we highlight topics that are on the minds of individuals around the state. If you have a real estate-related question, you might want to check it out.
It is a principle of law that every contract implies a duty of good faith and fair dealing by all the parties who sign the agreement. How that translates into action is less clear, as all experienced attorneys know. Courts can and often do recognize that the bounds of what constitutes proper enforcement and performance under a contract can vary depending on the circumstances of a given case.
No two legal disputes are exactly alike. Each has its own nuances. Because of that, there is no way to predict the outcome of a case. Bringing matters to court is the traditional means by which individuals at loggerheads would seek resolution. However, in recent years, alternative dispute resolution has often proven useful and more cost effective.
Previously, we began looking at the topic of confidentiality and privilege in the context of mediation. As we noted, the general rule is that all mediation communications are both confidential between the parties involved and privileged, meaning that their disclosure may not be compelled in litigation or other processes.
Pennsylvania readers may remember the so-called “kids for cash” scandal, which involved judicial kickbacks in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. Between 2000 and 2007, two judges had been accepting bribes from Robert Mericle, the builder of two youth centers, in exchange for contracts with the centers and for making decisions aimed at increasing residents at the facilities. Apparently, the judges took over $2.8 million.
Readers may have heard of the ongoing troubles between Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi Jackson. In 2013, both Jackson and his ex-wife pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy for using campaign money on personal expenses, and both subsequently spent time in prison on the convictions. Following the prison sentences, Jesse Jackson Jr. filed for divorce.
In our last post, we began looking at a proposed bill that would require health care providers and health insurers to proceed to arbitration when they cannot agree on who is responsible for paying health care costs that exceed a patient’s in-network costs. As we noted, the specific form of arbitration in which the parties would participate is commonly known as “baseball arbitration.” It is also called either/or or final-offer arbitration. This form of arbitration is commonly used to resolve commercial disputes.