Top Lawyers 2013: Yvonne Takvorian Saville, Alternative Dispute Resolution

Meet one of Delaware’s best lawyers of 2013: Yvonne Takvorian Saville.

In 18 years of practice, certified mediator and arbitrator Yvonne Takvorian Saville has handled more than 3,500 civil cases. That’s a lot of dispute resolution, most often in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. “I love what I do,” she says. “I love who I get to deal with.” Alternative dispute resolution means, in essence, avoiding a court case by settling a matter with a neutral third party. The litigants agree to meet with an arbitrator who hears their arguments, then makes a decision, or to meet with a mediator, who negotiates a compromise. “Alternative dispute resolution has been very effective in getting cases resolved,” Saville says. That keeps the courts from clogging up, and it can be less stressful on the two parties than a trial. Saville, in fact, sees part of her job as educating people about the legalities and risks of going to trial. “You are often the public’s only connection to litigation, so you want it to be as painless as possible. They’re going to remember it,” Saville says. “The litigants need to know you’re invested in their case. Any successful alternative dispute resolution attorney, that’s what we do well. I always consider what I do from the claimant’s perspective.” In 90 percent of her cases, mediation or arbitration is successful, she says. In the 10 percent of cases that are not, she follows their progress through the court. In a career of service to her profession—Saville is president-elect of the Delaware State Bar Association and a past president of the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association, the only lawyer to be a president of both organizations—she sees her job as a service to the public. “The lawyers appreciate it, the carriers appreciate it, and the courts appreciate it when the case is resolved.”

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