Legal Question in Admiralty Law in Florida


Approx. one week ago, went to mediation, was told, �the jury will be mostly Hispanic, & I was so white & overweight the jury would hate me & I should take the settlement�. After paying all bills & lawyer, I'll have approx. $3,000.This was a slip & fall on a cruise ship.My lawyer did not tell me of an offer he received several months ago (he forgot). He told me he read my case the night before mediation and just realized I had a compressed fracture.He was un-organized at the mediation.Could not find my depo papers etc, in mediation meeting.He talked to no one except me & the cruise line lawyer nite before.Never interviewed a floor specialist or doctor!We talked at free consult & night before depo, then at mediation.No other time.Is this unreasonable?Mediator doing 2 cases at the same time.My lawyer & mediator intimidated me into settling the case.Saying I would not win & would be responsible for lawyers� fees & all bills both sides acquired. While signing the papers, I said I felt bullied into this.I rec�d an email to sign & notarize release of all claims.I can't bring myself to sign!Is this normal behavior for a lawyer & mediator?Could I fire my lawyer, get another & go to court? Thinking about this & cost of my continued meds.

Asked on 5/07/09, 9:59 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Alan Wagner Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore P.A.

Re: Mediation

If you did not want to settle you should not have signed on the dotted line. If you felt pressured, you should not have signed. While it is possible to undo the settlement in extremely rare and unusual circumstances, the cruise line has a signed agreement and your lawyer will dispute your claim of unreasonable stress amd pressure. All mediations involve stress and pressure. The court's are loathe to undo a settlement because of buyer's remorse. I know you have your version, but the defendant and your lawyer have theirs -- and they have the best proof at all: your signed agreement. Refusing to go through with the settlement canexpose you to a risk of paying the other side's fees and costs. You should not have been pressured, but your problem now is in proving that you were pressured. Based on what you have provided, you are on the losing siode of that equation.

Read more
Answered on 5/07/09, 10:52 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Admiralty Law questions and answers in Florida