Experienced mediator in a wide range of cases including banking, commercial, consumer, securities, employment , fiduciary or insurance litigation, trade secret/non-compete cases and class actions
"Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough." Abraham Lincoln, Notes for a Law Lecture (1850).
Mr. Betts serves as a mediator in a wide range of litigation matters, including banking litigation, class actions, commercial/complex litigation, consumer litigation, securities litigation and arbitrations (FINRA customer claims and employment cases), employment litigation, fiduciary litigation, insurance litigation and trade secret/non-compete cases.
Mr. Betts is on the approved roster of neutrals for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He also has been approved by the Court to serve as an E-Discovery Special Master and Mediator. In addition, Mr. Betts is on the American Arbitration Association’s national arbitrator panel for commercial and consumer cases. He also has been certified by FINRA Dispute Resolution as an approved arbitrator and mediator.
Mr. Betts employs a hybrid style of mediation that is a blend of "facilitative" and "evaluative" approaches (unless the parties otherwise agree or court rules otherwise provide). After he obtains an understanding of the background of the case and the factual and legal issues that are presented, Mr. Betts will draw on his thirty-seven years of litigation experience to assist the parties and their counsel in evaluating the risks and expense of continued litigation. Mr. Betts frequently applies "decision tree" analyses to the cases he mediates and has found this to be a valuable tool in helping the parties reach common ground in their respective assessments of the case. Mr. Betts eschews the approach used in many mediations, where the role of the mediator is reduced to shuttling settlement proposals back and forth between or among the parties, without offering an objective evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of each party's positions.
Mr. Betts is sensitive to the cost of mediation and works with parties and their counsel to structure mediations in such a manner as to efficiently use the parties' resources. For example, Mr. Betts conducts half-day sessions if the parties desire. In addition, and when permitted by court rules, Mr. Betts can structure a "virtual" online mediation or a telephonic mediation. Although in most cases in-person sessions are regarded as most desirable (and may be required by court rules), a virtual or telephonic mediation may be prove to be the most efficient approach, particularly when significant travel by the parties and their counsel is involved or when scheduling a timely in-person session may be impracticable.
Mr. Betts's hourly rate for serving as mediator is $300 (shared by the parties). Quotes for flat fees for half-day or full day sessions are available upon request.