What You Need To Know About Mediation
Mediation has gained in popularity as it is less costly and less time-consuming than litigation. Many courts will encourage the parties to try mediation, and in some cases, the court or the underlying contract will require it.
I am available for private sessions either in our Santa Barbara office or by remote sessions throughout California. For answers to your specific questions, I invite you to arrange a consultation at 805-564-2333.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It is geared toward helping two or more parties in conflict reach an out-of-court resolution with the help of a neutral facilitator — the mediator.
What kinds of disputes are amenable to mediation?
Every type of dispute can be mediated. I offer focused experience in many legal disciplines, including the areas of business litigation, employment law, probate and trusts, personal injury, real estate, construction, securities law and many other civil disputes.
Is mediation binding?
Mediation is usually a voluntary process. While the goal is agreement, sometimes the parties come to an unbreakable impasse. The mediator can suggest a solution, but the parties are not required to reach a compromise or to accept the mediator’s proposal. It becomes binding only if and when both sides agree to terms and sign a settlement agreement.
Who picks the mediator?
This is an important question. It is common that one or both parties (or their attorneys) have a mediator in mind. For some disputes, you can choose from a court-approved list of mediators. In other situations, you may want to interview several mediators to find the right fit. You should be convinced that your mediator is qualified and impartial.
How much does mediation cost?
The cost varies from one provider to the next. My mediator rates are posted for half-day and full-day sessions. As with most things, you get what you pay for. I completed an intensive and world-renowned mediator training course at Pepperdine University. That formal training, combined with my insights from over 40 years in litigation and business law, help to make the sessions fruitful and efficient. The key takeaway is that mediation is much less expensive than going to trial, and the outcome is in your hands.
What is the mediator’s role?
The mediator is not a judge and has no power to compel the parties. The mediator’s job is to foster an agreement. The nature and complexities of the dispute, the temperament of the parties, the amount of money at stake and other factors will dictate what approach I take in any given case. My philosophy is to create an atmosphere of respect, open communication and creativity that creates the most fertile ground for an out-of-court resolution.
Do we mediate face-to-face?
Direct contact mediation is rare anymore. More commonly, you would be in separate conference rooms and the mediator would be the go-between as you work toward an acceptable and practical compromise. In fact, currently most mediations are now conducted remotely by videoconference, which actually makes the process more convenient and even less confrontational.
What Other Questions Can We Answer?
I welcomes inquiries from individuals, business owners and attorneys. After 40-plus years in the trenches, I know what you’re going to through and how to get you out. Mediation can stop the bleeding and end the stress.
Call my office at 805-564-2333 to arrange a consultation, or email me a few details about your situation.