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I have had the privilege of working with Ron Bankston on a number of significant personal injury cases, both as co-counsel and where Ron served as the mediator. Ron is as good as they come. There are few, if any, mediators that possess Ron’s trial skills and experience, and this is part of what gives him such credibility and effectiveness in mediation. I have often commented to others that watching Ron take an expert witness deposition or cross examine a witness at trial ought to count as credit toward a trial lawyer’s continuing legal education hours. He is just that good.
Our firm has used Ron Bankston to mediate a number of cases over the years. He is attentive, respectful, diplomatic and totally engaged — with the parties, the attorneys and the issues in the case. And he gets the job done, often in cases where I went into mediation believing had the poorest prospects for settlement. Ron is on our short list of go-to mediators.
As a trial judge, when I referred cases to mediation, it was very rare for me to suggest a mediator, preferring the parties and attorneys to select their own mediator. However, on those occasions when I did suggest a mediator, in the most difficult, polarized cases, Ron Bankston was my recommendation, hands-down. And I can’t think of a single one of those cases that he did not get settled.
About 30 days before the trial of a highly contentious, multi-party, high dollar commercial real estate, fraud, negligence and trespass case, the judge instructed the parties to attend a mediation, specifically recommending Ron Bankston as the mediator. The parties could not have been further apart going in to the mediation. After a long day of mediation which resulted in progress, but no final settlement, Ron continued to work with the parties for the next 2 weeks. The parties reached a full settlement of all issues in the case, and this was the result, almost exclusively, of Ron’s persuasion, perseverance and just plain hard work. In more than 2 decades of litigation practice, I never seen a harder working, more effective mediator than Ron Bankston.
Ron Bankston is an extremely bright lawyer and an effective advocate for his clients. Two years ago I defended one of Houston’s largest drilling companies in a case that Ron brought on behalf of one of his clients, a drilling pipe stabber trainee who had his fingers amputated working on an oil rig. Ron did an outstanding job of marshaling the evidence and presenting his client’s case.
When my opposing counsel became ill during a multi-million dollar commercial fraud trial, the judge suggested a mid-trial mediation with Ron Bankston. This was one of the most challenging mediations I’ve ever seen. The parties were bitter enemies who’d been at each other’s throats in lawsuits dating back more than five years, and my client’s family business was threatened with extinction in the current trial. Ron’s work was, in a word, MASTERFUL. He displayed a broad and deep knowledge of substantive law, tempered with a keen appreciation of the realities of the courthouse. But he also diagnosed the parties’ respective needs and acute sensitivities, and threaded a path toward reconciling those which quite literally brought the parties to a respectful handshake (and appropriate documentation) of a final settlement agreement that mooted the trial and all the years of previous litigation. Ron is as fine a mediator as I’ve seen in almost 30 years of active trial practice in Houston.
Ron is among the most skilled advocates I have encountered. We worked on opposite sides of a complicated and long-running case. I know of few other lawyers who could have represented the clients interests the way Ron did, and fewer still who could have obtained the results he got for his clients. It was a difficult case, and as vigorous and contentious as it was both factually and legally, Ron and I were always able to shake hands at the end of the day. I give Ron my highest recommendation.