Yesterday, we settled a serious car accident case in mediation that I never thought would settle. The client was looking well beyond the fair value of the case, valuing the claim at $2.1 million (our maximum potential recovery with Maryland cap on pain and suffering damages) and defendant undervalued the claim from the very beginning. Somehow, after over six hours, the case miraculously settled. This is one of those cases I had assumed as an article of faith that it would have gone to trial. It really is hard to tell which cases will trial and which cases will settle.
But even more incredible than the case settling was the fact that the driver defendant came flew up from his home in Atlanta, Georgia for the mediation. Obviously, the court did not require or expect him to be there. After the mediation was over, he gave an articulate two-minute speech apologizing to the plaintiff and his wife for the accident. This guy really put himself out in a way that provided him no benefit, but he came because he thought it was the right thing to do and he wanted to accept responsibility. It was one of those things that really gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling about our fellow man.
One more feel-good story… I got back to my office this morning and a client whose case is pending in Baltimore County Circuit Court sent a note to our lawyers and staff thanking us for our continued hard work. She included with her note what is essentially a $100 tip! We will send the check back to her, but it definitely boosted my spirits when I got here this morning.