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An Explanation of the Mediation Process

Over the course of her legal career, attorney Lisa Poursine has represented a number of clients in the mediation process. Lisa Poursine currently counsels clients as a member of the insurance defense law firm, Mintzer Sarowitz Zeris Ledva & Meyers.

In the legal process, mediation refers to an assisted discussion between disputing parties. It is often attractive to parties in divorces, discrimination claims, and similar disputes in which parties desire to avoid litigation. Its key elements include a collaborative approach, in which no party has more power than the other, and a commitment to neutrality on the part of the mediator. The mediator assumes responsibility for collecting information and presenting possible solutions, though he or she does not grant a decision, as is the case in arbitration. Instead, the disputing parties review the presented solution and sign a mutually acceptable mediated agreement.

Mediation is both voluntary and non-binding, which means that all parties must be willing to participate throughout the process. It is also confidential to the extent determined by both parties, which means that materials and information involved remain inadmissible in any future litigation. Because it is an active process dependent on the willingness and participation of both parties, it carries a statistically high level of compliance both throughout the mediation itself and in regards to the final agreement.

Making It to Levin College of Law’s Moot Court Final Four

Lisa Poursine serves as an associate attorney with the Law Offices of Bohdan Neswiacheny. During her university career, Lisa Poursine was honored as the 2000 Best Oralist winner of the 2000 Zimmerman Kiser Sutcliffe Moot Court Final Four competition.

The Zimmerman Kiser Sutcliffe Moot Court Final Four competition is hosted every year and showcases the legal skills of competitors from the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. Contestants must have completed their first year of law school or four semesters for a joint degree, have finished appellate advocacy, and be in good academic standing with the institution.

Before law students try out for the Moot Court Final Four, they must attend a meeting and then participate in the Final Four event that follows the meeting. Competitors prepare and submit an appellate brief on a topic his or her team selects within a specified amount of time.

This first oral argument makes up 40 percent of his or her score. There are two other arguments that must be prepared, worth 40 and 20 percent respectively. One is an off-brief, and one is an on-brief. The three scores are combined and the highest scorers make it to the Final Four team.

Lisa Poursine: Deposition Tips

Associate attorney Lisa Poursine maintains responsibility for multiple aspects of practice at the Law Office of Bohdan Neswiacheny in Florida. In the past, Lisa Poursine’s work has included taking and defending depositions for litigation in federal and state employment matters.

Depositions are one way that parties in a lawsuit conduct formal investigations to discover pertinent information about a case once a suit has been brought. In a deposition, a witness gives an oral statement while under oath prior to the trial. Depositions are used to record the testimony of witnesses and to inform the parties of what each witness knows before the trial begins.

When taking depositions, lawyers should keep the specific purpose of the deposition in mind. Inexperienced litigators sometimes rely too heavily on a question outline rather than following the witness’ answers, or get sidetracked by arguing with opposing counsel. During a deposition, ask whether the witness has testified in any previous trials, and whether the opposing attorney during the deposition is representing the witness. It is also good to inquire into any other forms of discovery.