What is Mediation?
Mediation is an organized negotiation between disputing parties facilitated by a professional. The mediator is a neutral 3rd party who facilitates communications beteen parties engaged in conflict, evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case from a legal perspective, strives to promote reconciliation, agreement, and mutual understanding, and to facilitate a settlement of the disputed issues toward the end that the parties agree to the terms and conditions of a mediated settlement agreement, all while striving to preserve the honor, respect and dignity of each party.
Mediation settlement agreements are legally binding and enforceable contracts.
Mediation (1) avoids the competitive nature of legal pugilism where one party wins and the other loses; (2) by avoiding trial to a judge or jury, the parties achieve substantial litigation savings in terms of both costs and time; (3) allows the parties much more control of their destiny than they would have in a court of law; (4) is a way for parties to achieve a mutually satisfying settlement while reducing much suffering that the parties would otherwise experience.
Can Any Case Be Mediated?
Yes. If the parties agree to mediate their dispute, whatever it may be, the dispute may be mediated. Price and Price Mediators are competent to mediate family law disputes as well as disputes involving probate or guardianship matters.
Mediation is scheduled at the convenience of the parties. In litigation it may be necessary to wait months before having a case heard before a judge or jury. The average time it takes to get a case to trial is 2 years. An appeal of the judgment from the trial court to the court of appeals, takes an average of 18 months to 2 years from the date the judge or jury rules. During that time, the parties continue to incur legal fees and costs and they continue to invest emotional time and energy in their dispute.
The vast majority of disputes are settled in a 4 or 8-hour mediation. Mediation allows the parties some measure of control over their case. At trial, the judge has control over the courtroom, the attorneys control the presentation of your case to the jury, and the judge, or jury, as the case may be, determines the facts and renders a decision. In effect, the only thing is the process by which a judge or jury arrives at their verdict.
Mediation is confidential.
Information disclosed during mediation is inadmissible as evidence in any trial or other judicial proceeding. As a result, if the parties are unable to reach an agreement, their positions will not have been compromised by their participation in the mediation process.
What Factors Should Be Considered in Choosing a Mediator?
Important considerations include the mediator’s experience and knowledge, the number of mediations conducted or attended by the mediator; whether the mediator is trained; the mediator’s legal or judicial experience; and, the mediator’s reputation for knowledge and integrity in the area and region.
TERMS OF PRICE & PRICE MEDIATION:
The parties, by scheduling their mediation with Price and Price will agree that the following terms will govern the mediation of their dispute:
- The Mediator will not offer legal advice to any party during the mediation and statements made by the Mediator during the mediation should not be interpreted as legal advice. Should the Mediator assist in preparation of a mediated settlement agreement, you are strongly encouraged to have the agreement reviewed by your independent counsel prior to signing the mediated settlement agreement.
- You agree to equally share the costs of the mediation unless you have made other arrangements with the other Party and the Mediator prior to the mediation.
- All statements made by any Party during the course of the mediation are considered to be settlement discussions and are confidential. All statements made by any person during the course of the mediation are inadmissible in any subsequent litigation, arbitration or other form of alternative dispute resolution.
- No recording, digital or otherwise will be made of any part of the mediation.
- You agree that you will not subpoena or otherwise request that The Mediator testify, produce any documents, records or other work product, in any subsequent litigation, arbitration or other form of alternative dispute resolution proceeding. You agree that should you subpoena The Mediator notwithstanding your agreement otherwise, you shall pay all legal expenses, attorneys’ fees and costs associated with such testimony or production, including any motion to quash that may be filed.
- The Mediator strongly recommends the actual presence at the mediation of those individuals possessing full settlement authority. However, if either party agrees or consents to the appearance of the other party or the other party’s representative by tele-conference or video-conference, The Mediator will accommodate that agreement. If you are unable to reach an agreement as to the presence of an individual with full settlement authority, you must obtain approval from the Court for that individual to participate in some other manner.