Area of Practice
After more than thirty years building a solid foundation in litigation of real estate, title insurance, employment and general business disputes, Michael Spink has developed a successful mediation practice covering business, real estate and civil litigation.
Michael has always approached litigation as an exercise in problem-solving, and the progression of his role to participation as a neutral voice in dispute resolution is a logical, and exciting, evolution of that practice. This unique perspective, grounded in practical application, gives Michael valuable insight into the nuances of mediation and dispute resolution.
Michael obtained comprehensive mediation training at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, the premiere mediation training group center at Pepperdine University School of Law.
Mediating litigated cases has become commonplace; both state and federal courts in Idaho typically require mediation at some point in the proceedings. The time at which mediation occurs in the resolution of a dispute can be critical. Michael encourages parties to initiate and attempt to mediate in good faith prior to the actual filing of the case. After a case has been filed, mediation is often more effective after some reasonable amount of discovery has been completed by the parties.
Obviously, mediating at this later stage creates additional costs for the parties. Although Michael has mediated prelitigation disputes directly with the parties, that process is often more effective with the participation of the counsel who will handle the litigated case.
There is always an opportunity for mediation immediately prior to trial. With or without mediation, cases often settle on the courthouse steps. If mediation is going to be considered at this late stage, it is often advantageous if the parties had attempted, and made some progress, mediating at an earlier stage (prior to incurring the high cost of trial preparation I the final weeks before trial).
Mediation is not the perfect solution for all disputes, but it can be an effective approach – even in cases where emotions run high. A significant portion of disputes that are mediated in good faith result in a sustainable settlement.
Listening hard and working hard to allow the parties to find their best solution.