COVID was not a complete disaster. One thing we come away with is a well-developed technology for, and considerable practice in, meeting face-to-face without having to gather in the same physical location.
We’ll all remember the time when we had no choice but to gather by video conference. Thankfully, now the option is up to us.
Since the pandemic began, Judge Sankovitz has conducted more than 175 video mediations. He regularly meets with counsel and clients in person, but even with the pandemic largely behind us, he continues to meet remotely, too, and in all manner of hybrids – one side in person, the other remote; some clients present, some remote; counsel present, clients remote, and many other combinations. Judge Sankovitz puts technology to use for the convenience and protection of the parties and to expedite negotiations.
Parties and counsel tend to assume that cases won’t settle unless the parties meet with the mediator in person. But experience teaches us otherwise.
Judge Sankovitz tracks the results of the mediations over which he presides. Turns out, he succeeds in settling cases remotely at virtually the same rate as he does in cases where everyone meets in person. In both video and in-person mediations conducted by Judge Sankovitz, the case settles more than 75% of the time.
Now, if the parties themselves firmly believe that meeting in person will give the mediator an advantage in getting them to settle, Judge Sankovitz will be happy to accommodate them, and put that belief to work in getting the case resolved.
(Judge Sankovitz does not charge for driving time to destinations more than a couple hours from Milwaukee, although he expects the parties to reimburse mileage and other travel expenses.)
Judge Sankovitz is experienced in managing a variety of videoconference platforms, including Zoom®, Microsoft Teams® and Google Meet®.