“The courts of this country should not be the places where resolution of disputes begins. They should be the places where the disputes end after alternative methods of resolving disputes have been considered and tried.” — Sandra Day O’Connor
“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often the real loser — in fees, and expenses, and waste of time. As a peace-maker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.” – Abraham Lincoln
“The problem with communication is the illusion that is has occurred.” — George Bernard Shaw
What we do:
We resolve civil and domestic disputes in the most efficient and collaborative method as possible. We remain neutral and our ultimate goal is to ensure the parties have control over the resolution unlike judge or jury trials when their fate is up to others.
How we do it:
Mediation is a tool and can accomplish many things. Our unbiased mediators are professionals and DO NOT offer legal advice. What we do is use our legal experience to educate and explain outcomes so as to encourage a dialogue between the parties with the ultimate goal of coming to an agreement. It is very helpful, especially for the lay person, to understand how the Court may or may not rule. We DO NOT take sides. A mediators function is to use a style that is designed to help the parties come to a resolution.
If the parties reach an agreement we will help draft a settlement document which will be signed by everyone involved. Depending on the case this document is often the final agreement and then submitted to the Court for approval.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement then an impasse will be declared and the parties can continue with their legal remedies in Court. Note, settlement discussions are almost always inadmissible in court pursuant to Rule of Evidence 408. This is done to protect information exchanged in mediation and meant to encourage settlement.
Mediation sessions can last a couple of hours to one day. It is much less costly than going to court and most importantly, you know the outcome. The biggest risk of going to court is the unknown. Parties lose winners and win losers all the time. With mediation, you know what you are going to get.