20 Years of Helping Resolve Tough Disputes
and Finding Practical Solutions to Complex Problems
Many attorneys realize that mediation can help their clients come to a resolution much more quickly – and much more effectively – than litigation can. However, because mediation is so different from litigation, most attorneys aren’t sure how the entire process works.
Some lawyers only see mediation as an option when the court orders it, but in reality, it’s often a good idea to try mediation long before you appear in court.
Your mediator will have a pre-mediation conference call with you and the other party’s lawyer; it usually only takes 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll talk about the process, and your mediator will tell you what you need to prepare prior to mediation. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions.
Your mediator will explain that regardless of what happens, at the end of the day, it’s your client’s call whether or not they agree to settle.
When you and your client arrive for mediation, you’ll have an open session with the other party and the mediator. Your mediator will discuss the mediation process, talk about the ground rules, and have all of the parties sign a confidentiality agreement.
Everything that happens during mediation is confidential. Every party involved in the dispute signs a confidentiality agreement, so what happens in mediation stays in mediation.
Each side gets the opportunity to tell the mediator their side of the story – and this happens in the presence of the other party. It’s important because this may be the very first time your client is hearing the dispute directly from the opposing party’s viewpoint.
In many disputes, lawyers end up talking to each other and then to their respective clients; both clients are separated by lawyers, who act as middlemen in the dispute.
During mediation, we need the flow of information to begin so we can resolve the core issues. In many cases, simply hearing the other side discuss the dispute and the impact that it’s caused can carve the pathway to a resolution.
If you are dealing with a complex dispute, mediation is probably the right answer.
As a lawyer, your goal is your client’s happiness. Because mediation cuts through the emotional aspects of a dispute and exposes the facts, people are able to reach settlements quickly and efficiently.
For most attorneys, mediation is a far better solution than months of litigation, particularly when you consider that once a case goes to trial, its outcome is out of your hands.
Mediation is usually your client’s last chance to control the outcome of the dispute.
At some point in every dispute, information stops flowing. Mediation can reopen the floodgates of communication and enable both parties to reach reasonable solutions.
You owe it to yourself – and to your client – to explore your mediation options.
Call us at 925-407-2080. We can answer your questions about mediation and help you get your client what he or she really needs: Resolution.