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Workers' Compensation Judges' Mediation Procedures

Joseph Hakun

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

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

    Yes, but only in a qualified manner which does not interfere with the ability to reach an impartial and proper decision on the merits of the case if the conference does not result in a full and complete settlement.
  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, but all parties must be serious about reaching a settlement, and should have attempted to reach a resolution on their own before seeking a conference. Conferences are conducted only on Malvern cases on which a petition is outstanding.
  8.  
  9. How much time do you typically allow for a mediation session?

    As required.
  10.  
  11. Do you require the parties to submit a pre-mediation memorandum? If so:

    A memorandum is not required, but can be useful.
  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?

    Claimant and all counsel are to be present, as well as the employer, if input is necessary to a final resolution. Adjuster's attendance by telephone is permitted.
  16.  
  17. Once you receive a mediation request, what is the usual amount of time elapsed until the mediation takes place?

    Several weeks, dependent upon my calendar.
  18.  
  19. Describe generally how you conduct a mediation session.

    • Describe each step of the process.

      I meet only with all attorneys together in cases where I may decide the case on the merits. In other instances, I meet first with all attorneys together, and as may be appropriate thereafter, I meet with individual counsel.
    •  
    • 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 use a mixed approach, with great emphasis on evaluation.
    •  
  20. Are you willing to conduct more than one session per claim?

    Not usually.
  21.  
  22. Is there anything else the parties should know or do in advance of the mediation?

    Be serious about settling the case. It is assumed that the parties tried to resolve the matter before asking for mediation. Counsel should know all aspects of the underlying case -- have a rational basis for all evaluation figures, and have definite and clear settlement authority.
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