Mediation is a process for negotiating disputes between adversaries under the aegis of a third party neutral, who acts as a facilitator to assist the parties in settling their disputes. As a result of widespread recognition of the high cost and uncertainty of litigation, mediation has become an increasingly more prevalent method of resolving litigation before trial or even before it is filed.
Niki Schwartz was recruited and trained as a mediator for the United States District Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Panel begun in the early Nineties. His extraordinary success in settling the cases referred to him resulted in his becoming in high demand as a mediator for hire by the leading lawyers and law firms of Ohio.
Niki has successfully mediated hundreds of cases and controversies involving virtually every area of the law, ranging from extremely complex business disputes involving hundreds of millions of dollars in controversy to relatively simple employment cases ranging as low as five figures in dispute. Among the most noteworthy were:
• Cellular telephone industry disputes involving hundreds of millions of dollars in controversy that had been litigated for more than 12 years, twice previously mediated unsuccessfully, settled by Niki on the eve of trial after ten days of mediation.
• Litigation among the major hospitals of Cincinnati, over the breakup of their business alliance, that generated multitudinous issues involving hundreds of millions of dollars in dispute, every one of which was settled by Niki in mediations conducted over the period from 2008 to 2011.
• Bankruptcy Court litigation arising out of the reorganization of a major manufacturer, involving six different adversary actions among five separate parties in interest, globally settled in one extended day of mediation.
• Legal malpractice action filed against one of Ohio’s largest law firms, involving counterclaims, third party claims and cross claims for indemnification and contribution by and against D & O insurer and plaintiff’s corporate employer, globally settled after multiple mediation conferences over the course of five months.
Niki’s ability to work out “messy situations” has been the subject of extensive comment, including articles appearing in Inside Business (December, 2003), the American Bar Association Journal (December 1993), Cleveland’s Best Lawyers (2009) and letters received from adversary counsel in the Cincinnati Health Alliance mediations (February 5, 2009) (May 2, 2010).
Niki’s article on Lessons Learned From 20 Years of Mediating Cases was published in the July/August 2012 edition of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal.