Judge Elaine Gordon, (ret.)


“Judge Gordon settled a case that I never imagined would resolve without a trial. My client was happy with both the outcome and the Mediation process. Thank you!”

— Defendant’s Counsel


Mediation is a non-adversarial ADR process. In mediation, decision making power rests only with the parties. Judge Gordon assumes the role of a facilitator who helps the parties explore their choices, improve communication, avoid confrontation, and find a mutually agreeable settlement. Judge Gordon does not impose a decision. The different types of mediation include:

Facilitative Mediation
In this type of mediation, Judge Gordon does not determine what is fair, nor comment on the merits of the case or settlement. She listens to the parties’ positions and helps exchange information. She assists negotiation by communicating offers and helping to create settlement ideas. While she may work to overcome a stalemate, a settlement and its details are up to the parties.

Evaluative Mediation
In this type of mediation, Judge Gordon listens to the parties to understand the details of their respective positions. She then uses her skill and experience to help the parties reach a settlement. Judge Gordon may share her opinion on the likely outcome of the case should it go to trial. The Judge may also suggest settlement ranges in light of the potential outcome. The advantage of this type of mediation is that it gives the parties feedback on their respective positions and assists them in a developing a realistic view of the strengths and weaknesses of their case. The decision to settle always remains with the litigants.

Early Neutral Evaluation
Before parties invest a lot of time and money in litigation, Judge Gordon is retained to conduct an informal and non-binding meeting in an attempt to settle the matter or narrow the issues. Each side presents its case in a summary fashion. The Judge and the parties are welcome to ask questions. After each side’s presentation is complete, the Judge gives the parties her opinion regarding the likely outcome in court and articulates her reasoning. Judge Gordon will then suggest possible ways to resolve the matter.

This is a hybrid procedure which starts as a mediation. The parties attempt, with Judge Gordon’s assistance, to settle their dispute through mediation. However, unlike a traditional mediation, they also agree that, if they are unable to completely settle their dispute, they will allow Judge Gordon to decide all remaining matters. The Judge’s decision is binding on all litigants.

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