Mediation in Alabama/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on September 1, 2017


The State of Alabama was recently sued by the inmates of its prison system. The issue at hand was the quality of the medical and therapeutic services that were made available to the inmates of the prison system. A federal judge, Myron Thompson, ruled against the State. Judge Thompson ordered mediation to take place between the State of Alabama and attorneys for the prison population. The order presumes that a solution to the inadequacies of the medical program will be articulated at a Hearing to take place on September 7, 2017.

The case at hand shows how even in litigated matters, mediation becomes a necessary step in allowing for a free-ranging discussion on solutions to matters in dispute. There is no substitute to the dispute resolution and creative thinking that can take place at a mediation session. Litigation does not lead to Win-Win; mediation does. Gandhi may have said it best: “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.” Mediation always aims to lead to Win-Win. For that reason, it is always a wise choice. This was likely the basis of Judge Thompson’s Order. Mediate don’t litigate.