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Workers' Compensation Judges' Mediation Procedures

Rosalia G. Parker

Office: Pittsburgh District: Western
  1. Please list the offices at which you will mediate a claim.

    Pittsburgh.
  2.  
  3. Are you willing to mediate claims that are assigned to you for hearing and decision?

    Yes.
  4.  
  5. Are you willing to mediate claims in which one or both parties are not represented by counsel?

    No.
  6.  
  7. Do you require the parties to execute an agreement to mediate? If so, please describe briefly the matters addressed by the agreement.

    No.
  8.  
  9. How much time do you typically allow for a mediation session?

    Morning or afternoon.
  10.  
  11. Do you require the parties to submit a pre-mediation memorandum? If so:

    No.
  12.  
  13. Do you conduct a pre-mediation conference? If so, please describe what takes place at that conference.

    No.
  14.  
  15. Do you require all participants (claimant, adjustor/employer representative, counsel) to attend the mediation personally? Under what circumstances do you permit a participant to attend by telephone?

    I permit the claims representative (only) to be available by telephone.
  16.  
  17. Once you receive a mediation request, what is the usual amount of time elapsed until the mediation takes place?

    A few weeks.
  18.  
  19. Describe generally how you conduct a mediation session.

     
    • Describe each step of the process.

      First, I speak to the attorneys to find out the most recent demand/offer that is on the table. I then talk to claimant and claimant's counsel, defendant's counsel, and claims representative (if that person is there). I discuss strengths and weaknesses of their case. I then try to negotiate an acceptable number, trying not to go "back and forth" more than three (3) times. I don't believe it is productive beyond that, most of the time.
    •  
    • Indicate whether you use a facilitative (i.e., helping the parties to communicate and generate their own solutions), evaluative (i.e., discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each party's case and/or offering an opinion as to the settlement value), or mixed approach.

      I would characterize it as a mixed approach.
    •  
  20. Are you willing to conduct more than one session per claim?

    Yes, but I've never done more than two.
  21.  
  22. Is there anything else the parties should know or do in advance of the mediation?

    Perhaps a statement of the obvious, but I expect them: (1) to be familiar with the evidence in the record to date since I read it thoroughly, and (2) to have exchanged at least one good faith demand and counteroffer.
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