A mediation is defined as a “facilitated” negotiation. The Mediator serves as the facilitator and assists the parties in reaching a resolution in their dispute. The mediator’s role is that of a “Neutral;” i.e., the mediator does not necessarily dictate to the parties that one side is right or wrong. The mediator is simply there to assist the parties in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution of their dispute. In most instances, the mediator is an experienced professional with expertise in the subject matter of the particular dispute between the parties.
A mediation can be part of the litigation process or it can be used before formal litigation (i.e. a lawsuit) is employed. Mediation allows the parties to have input into and, ultimately, control over how their particular dispute is resolved and the terms of the resolution. Once litigation is commenced, a judge, jury, or other trier of fact controls the outcome of the dispute and taking away the partied control over their matter.
Mediation is useful in most disputes where the parties desire to resolve their differences as amicably, expeditiously and cost effectively as possible while retaining control over how their differences are resolved.
Any kind of disagreement or dispute can be mediated. The parties must have a strong desire to resolve their dispute, case, or claim for mediation to be effective.
Any party with a dispute wishing to reach a resolution in a quick and effective manner.
Mediation allows the parties to control the timining, terms, and cost of resolving their dispute while retaining input into the process.
It is important for the parties and their representatives to be comfortable with the mediator as well as the mediation process. Ultimately the satisfaction of all parties is my top priority.
Input into and control over the process and resolution of their dispute.
Ideally, there are no “losers” in mediation, everyone “wins” because disputes are resolved.
The best time to schedule a mediation is at any point when the parties want to sit down, discuss their differences and begin working towards a resolution of their problems.
Any party or their representative can request mediation. A judge can order the parties to schedule schedule and attend a mediation.
The mediator works for the parties and should follow their directives as to how they want the mediation to be handled.
A mediation in a personal injury case is handled like any other mediation. The injured victim and his or her attorney should be present at the mediation, along with the defense attorney(s) and a representative from any involved insurance company.
If the mediation ends in a resolution, then the case is over. If the mediation is not successful, it may be necessary to proceed with litigation and possibly, go to court.
It is not necessary to reach an agreement in mediation. Although mediation is highly successful, not all cases can be resolved. More than a single mediation may be necessary in some cases.
Personality and mediation style are extremely important. Although, knowledge of subject matter is helpful but, cases are easily understandable by an experienced mediator and I can always learn an area of law of which I am not intimately familiar.
There are different styles of mediation. Facilitative mediators tend to be more “touchy-feely” Evaluative mediators usually give input and express their opinions regarding their issue involved in a particular matter. Depending on the dynamic of the situation, – I use different styles of mediation to fit the particular case.
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The mediator meets with all involved parties and their respective representation. Meetings are conducted with each side separately and depending on the circumstances, and the requesting partie, may be done together. (This is also referred to as a “joint session.”)
mediation is almost always helpful in starting the parties down the path towards settlement. Even if a mediation session does not in a complete resolution, I continue to work with the parties after the mediation has ended in order to get their cases resolved. In addition, mediation gives the parties an opportunity to meet and assess their case and their opportunities.
Although preferred, it is not necessary or legally required but it is usually a good idea. Particularly if the other party as counsel representation.
The Mediator cannot give legal advice to an unrepresented party of mediation. A party can have a paralegal, family member or any other persons to assist them should they so desire.
If the parties reach a resolution of their dispute, the terms of settlement should be included in writing at the time of conclusion. of the mediation. A written settlement agreement is typically enforceable by the court if the proper terms are set forth in the agreement.