Why Esford ADR?
Denny Esford's fledgling legal career took off in 2005 as part of a e-Discovery team for Kirkland & Ellis--traveling the country conducting custodian interviews to ferret out hardcopy and electronic discovery for BP and the MTBE Contamination MDL in the SDNY. Denny's prior experience in corporate structure and engineering departments provided an edge in asking the right questions and uncovering key responsive documents.
In 2013, Denny founded Windy City Trial Group and the same year became a Certified Arbitrator. In 2020, he became a Certified Mediator, with mediation training that included conducting mock Zoom mediations from three of best-known mediators in the industry: Dick Calkins, Case Ellis and Fred Lane.
In a business dispute, your client will appreciate Denny's 17 years
of experience in engineering, sales and management positions at some of America's most admired companies, including GM, Square D and United Technologies. Denny is both a former Senior Editor of the trade journal Cutting Tool Engineering and licensed insurance producer for Nationwide Insurance.
Why Not Use My Judge?
There is no doubt that good judges settle lots of cases. But it is also a fact that judges usually have large caseloads to manage and cases to keep moving—the pandemic grew that task ever larger. So by nature of the job, a judge isn’t always a true mediation neutral—he/she as an end game in mind—early dismissal, settlement or trial.
Denny's preferred approach is the Caucus Method, derived from over 18 years of successfully representing clients in settlement conferences before magistrate judges in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and state court judges in the Law and Chancery Divisions of the Circuit Court of Cook County Illinois.
Let's Work Through This™
No matter how strong your case, the stark reality is that it's one of the 95% of cases that settle short of a verdict at trial. And your client's learning curve will bend toward the realization that litigation is usually neither short nor satisfying--even if they win.
As you well know, courtrooms have rules--and unlike neutral mediation--rarely does the client really get to tell their side of the story and fashion a solution outside the confines of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Evidence. Mediation affords that opportunity--you owe it to your client to give them that chance.
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"Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often the real loser in fees, expenses and waste of time."
---Abraham Lincoln, 1850