“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.”
Many a savvy person has learned, sometimes the hard way, that “principle” can be an expensive proposition. Indeed, sometimes, litigation is unavoidable. But more often than not, the settlement of a dispute through the process of mediation will yield a far less expensive and quicker solution to whatever issue is standing in your way.
1. What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a proven way for families, couples, business owners and community members to work out their differences and maintain control over the outcome of their disputes. Unlike court or arbitration, where there is a judge who decides a winner and a loser, mediation is a collaborative process by which a neutral party (the mediator) acts as a facilitator trying to bring the parties together on an agreement. Mediation ensures that everyone has their chance to be heard, and leads to creative solutions that are unique to everyone’s personal situation and would not likely be possible to obtain in a legal proceeding.
2. What Kinds of Disputes Can be Mediated?
Virtually any kind of case or dispute can be mediated: business disputes, family disputes, divorce, breakups of civil unions or partnerships, estate disputes, elder care disputes, employment disputes and property disputes, just to name a few.
3. What Are The Primary Benefits of Mediation?
If you are a business operator, mediation cuts your legal costs by more than half, keeps your managers and key employees focused on their jobs, and resolves business disputes in a way that preserves goodwill and important business relationships. If you are ending a relationship or involved in a relationship dispute, mediation moves you through the conflict more quickly and much less expensively so that you can on with your lives. Litigation can destroy relationships by escalating conflict and pitting business people against one another, while mediation strives to preserve these relationships while resolving the dispute at hand.
4. What Is The Best Time To Mediate A Dispute?
Typically, the best time to mediate is at the very beginning of a dispute – whether or not a lawsuit has already been filed. Once a lawsuit or other dispute between parties starts gaining momentum, the parties tend to become more rigid in their positions, and wind up spending significant amounts of time, money and energy on the conflict – all of which makes the conflict that much more difficult to resolve.
5. Are Attorneys Involved In The Mediation?
Oftentimes conflicts are brought to mediation before attorneys have been retained by the parties. If you wish to have an attorney present to available to assist you, however, that is entirely your choice.
6. How Is The Cost of Mediation Handled?
Unless the parties agree otherwise, the total cost of the mediation is typically split equally between the parties.
7. What Are The Chances That Mediation Will Succeed?
The overwhelming majority of mediations are successful. Experience has shown that if everyone comes to the mediation genuinely open to finding a creative, compromise solution, the chances that an agreement will be reached are very high.
If you have further questions about mediation, please call our office at 480-733-6800 and ask to speak with Brian A. Weinberger. Brian brings with him 28 years of experience as a trial lawyer, mediator and arbitrator, and a unique combination of compassion, patience, intelligence, listening ability and commitment to ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard.