Getting to Know Mediator Audrey Tolson
Audrey Tolson is a former litigator with 25 years of experience. She specializes in medical malpractice, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury cases, including premises liability & trucking cases. Tolson remains honest and open with clients. She has a passion for people, is well-read, and has a love for literature, music, family, and justice.
What made you want to become a lawyer?
I grew up in a small town. There was only one African American lawyer and everyone liked and admired him. I met him when I was about 10 years old. Before meeting him, I had never met a lawyer that looked like me. When I did, I immediately knew that was what I wanted to be.
What are you most proud of with respect to your career?
I am most proud of being able to help so many clients over the years. Being able to help get justice for my clients and their families is the best part of what I do.
Why did you become a Neutral?
I decided to become a neutral because mediation has always been my favorite part of my cases. Regardless of whether the case is resolved that day, mediation always gives my clients the sense that someone is at least attempting to take responsibility and be accountable for the harm that was done to them. That makes a huge difference in their ability to heal and move forward.
What does ADR look like in 10 years?
In 10 years, I believe ADR will be “the new normal”. As more cases are filed and backlogs extend, I think more attorneys and courts will turn to ADR to resolve their disputes more efficiently.
How does ADR help make lawyers more successful?
ADR makes lawyers more successful by making them more efficient. It gives them the ability to resolve cases that need to be resolved. This gives them more time to focus on the cases that can’t.
How would your clients describe you?
I think my clients would describe me as thoughtful, caring, dedicated and hard-working.
What characteristics do you admire most in others?
The willingness to speak up/stand up for what’s right, especially in situations where the easiest thing to do is nothing.
If you had to identify a passion for a particular area of the law, what would it be?
I am most passionate about medical malpractice cases. I like the challenge of learning the medicine and figure out what happened because every case is unique.
How does your experience help you add value to conflict resolution clients and their disputes?
Having litigated the types of cases that I hope to mediate will add value in that I have first-hand knowledge to add to the process. I have sat in the seat of the attorneys handling the cases, I am knowledgeable about the subject matter, have done the client interaction, and understand the issues involved with the entire process.
How has your life experience made you the neutral you are today?
My life experience has afforded me the opportunity to work with people of every ethnicity, race, gender and socio-economic group. As a result, I am comfortable talking to and relating to people, regardless of their background. In my opinion, being able to do that is one of the most important traits of a good neutral.