Litigation is generally not a pleasant experience. The opposing parties ask invasive questions of each other that must be answered under oath. Depositions are taken where live testimony is given. Documents are exchanged. Battles often erupt with each side accusing the other of not being fair and of not needing the information they are asking for. Mediation is a way to resolve disputes without litigation.
How Mediation Works
In mediation, the parties involved in a dispute meet with a mediator who is a neutral third party who guides the discussion and may make suggestions for resolution. Mediators may discuss pros and cons of different approaches, but they do not give legal advice. Their focus is at all times on helping to guide the parties to reach a resolution to the complex issues between them. It is a non-confrontational process that allows each party to have input into the outcome of their case.
The parties decide whether or not to have their attorneys present during the mediation meetings. If the attorneys are not present, either party is free to take a break from the mediation meeting to call and consult with their attorney. There may be a number of mediation meetings until the problems are resolved.
Mediation is a confidential process. The mediator does not prepare written reports and, if mediation fails and litigation proceeds, mediators cannot be called as witnesses.
Benefits of Mediation
Resolving legal disputes through mediation, without court intervention, has many benefits:
- The focus is on resolving issues with the least amount of contention. The emphasis is on civility and respect, which results in less stress.
- It is almost always a faster process than litigation.
- Fewer court appearances makes it less expensive.
- Because the parties form their own agreements, they are more likely to be satisfied with the outcome and comply with the terms of the agreement they have participated in reaching.
Contact Trained and Certified Mediator Attorney Andrea McCurdy
Attorney Andrea McCurdy is a trained and certified mediator in the areas of domestic relations, civil and probate cases. She has seen how the process benefits those with legal issues, whether family law and divorce, general civil litigation or probate. The process is particularly helpful to those involved who will have a continuing relationship with each other in the future after the legal process is completed. Contact her at her at her Fayetteville or Bentonville office for more information.