And, as the attorneys pointed out, mediation was not the proper term as Penn State unilaterally brought on Feinberg and Rozen to facilitate discussions.
With that out of the way, the attorneys were unanimous in welcoming the team's breadth of experience and reputation for settling things sooner rather than later. They all said the hiring of Feinberg and Rozen was a step in the right direction.
One Philadelphia plaintiffs attorney who is not representing any of Sandusky's accusers said Feinberg would be fair to the victims but would not be intimidated by the impressive legal resumes at the other end of the table.
"He is a national name, from that standpoint, from a public relations standpoint, that bodes in Penn State's favor," said Ken Rothweiler, of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck. "It gives the impression that Penn State wants to get this over with in a way that doesn't shortchange the victims."
If you're representing a victim and want to settle, Rothweiler added, your strategy doesn't change.
"If you want to settle, and you got a guy like Feinberg coming on board, it probably will boost your chances because Feinberg gets things done."
That said, Rothweiler described the veteran mediator as a "hard-knuckle guy" who is "not going to get pushed around by anybody."
a Case-by-case basis
The Penn State case is different from, for example, the 9/11 settlements because the university has said it would not be setting up a victim fund. That is, there will be no set pool of money from which plaintiffs will cash out. Rather, the cases are likely to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Feinberg, who could not be reached for comment, said that himself.
In a press release through the university, Feinberg confirmed there would not be a fund, adding the legal team has "no binding authority to compel a settlement."