Hon. Jack Callahan, (Ret.), senior mediator and arbitrator at ADR Systems, recently presented on issues litigants may encounter when involved in police-pursuit and officer-involved shooting cases for the Illinois Counties Risk Management Trust (ICRMT).
“Many times, an innocent passerby is affected in these pursuit cases, often because of a momentary but life-altering split-second decision. It almost goes without saying that these cases can be highly emotional and volatile,” said Judge Callahan. “When seeking summary judgment or going to trial, challenges and risks abound for all sides.”
Mediation, however, offers another way to handle these cases, and one that provides a less adversarial path to settlement than litigation.
“Mediation is party-driven and more relaxed. Parties can speak freely with their chosen neutral to discuss the strengths and weakness of their cases,” said Judge Callahan. “They can tell their story – have their day in court – and feel they have been heard in light of the ordeal that has brought them to this point.”
It is the mediator’s role to create that “comfortable context for parties to communicate amongst themselves and try to reach an understanding about their concerns in a private environment” according to legal scholarship concerning mediation. From there, parties can more freely and candidly discuss with the mediator both the positive and negative aspects of their case along with their interests. The parties then work with the mediator to generate a variety of resolution options. Thus, even difficult cases such as these can settle.
Hon. Jack Callahan, (Ret.) brings enthusiasm, compassion and a broad base of experience in all aspects of the law to his practice as a senior mediator and arbitrator. His ability to resolve a wide variety of personal injury and commercial cases is supplemented by his time as an accountant and tax consultant. When not helping to resolve cases, Judge Callahan volunteers with adaptive athletic organizations that offer competitive or recreational sports opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
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