DAILY JOURNAL - Top Neutrals 2012

October 17, 2012 | TOP NEUTRALS

The List


ACT Mediation

Beverly Hills

Specialties: employment, personal injury, insurance

For Tolt, the gloomy economy has been a boon.
  "With the unfortunate side effects of people being laid off and not readily finding new jobs, they are much more likely to brood about why they were selected for termi­nation and end up on a lawyer's doorstep," she said. "We're seeing a lot of those cases."
As for the court's waning resources, court closures and the uncertainty of trial dates, Tolt said that she has noticed an "interesting phenomenon."
"When I first started practicing law, we were all trained that it took several years to get a case to trial, and it usually was an advan­tage for the defense when things got dragged out," she said. "Now, both sides are pushing to get these cases resolved."
While plaintiffs are eager for some cash flow, defendants also have an incentive for wanting resolution, she said.
"On the defense side, it's not economically attractive to have cases sitting on your books for a long time," Tolt said. "Its costing them money. Before they could bill more for hourly work because they weren't going to be scruti‑ nized for what they were billing."
Now, she added, "They have to turn their cases over. Clients' expectations are differ­ent. They don't want to be sitting through extensive litigation. Litigation doesn't make for good business."
As for the advent of the Information High­way and all the related bells and whistles, Tolt said that it's being used increasingly in mediations.
"When lawyers get here and somebody says, `I'm in financial trouble,' they are in stantly on the 'Net, checking liabilities, the company's reputation, what they are advertis­ing there are a million resources available online at your fingertips."
Tolt said that she also is seeing more high‑level executives and in‑house counsel flying in from all over the country to sit in on mediations.
"If they are sitting in the room, and not in Chicago or somewhere else, and listening to the dynamics of the mediation," she said, "they have a much better sense of whether they are getting value for the money they are spending."
Pat Broderick

Nikki Tolt Photo


Nikki Tolt, Esq.
2008 DJ Top Neutral

2012 DJ Top Neutral

ACT Mediation, Inc.
4670 W. Imperial Highway
Hawthorne, CA 90304

(310) 888-8200 phone
(310) 285-0048 fax


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