What is Mediation Law?
Mediation law refers to a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which the parties to a lawsuit meet with a neutral third-party in an effort to settle the case. The third-party is called a mediator. It is this personís job to listen to the evidence, help the litigants come to understand each otherís viewpoint regarding the controversy, and then facilitate the negotiation of a voluntary resolution to the case. The purpose of mediation is to avoid the time and expense of further litigation by settling a lawsuit early on in the process.
Unlike other forms of ADR, mediation is not binding on the parties. In fact, thinking about a mediation proceeding in terms of whether the parties will be bound by the outcome suggests a misunderstanding of the nature of mediation. The mediatorís role is not to reach a decision Ė it is to help the parties reach their own decision. There is no guarantee that mediation will produce a settlement agreement resolving the case. In fact, in many cases mediation will leave the litigants no closer to reaching a settlement afterwards than they were beforehand.
If mediation can turn out to be a waste of time for both sides, then why do so many litigants freely agree to attend (and to pay the associated fees)? The answer is that when mediation is successful, it can save huge sums of money. Litigation is expensive. For instance, taking a personal injury case all the way to trial can easily cost $100,000 or more. On the other hand, the parties can pay a mediator a couple hundred dollars an hour, with a very real chance that the case will be resolved by the end of the day.
Appropriate Cases for Mediation
People facing the prospect of litigation often wonder if their case is appropriate for mediation. Nearly any type of case can be mediated, but the best cases are those in which the parties are unlikely to reach a settlement agreement on their own. After all, if the parties and their attorneys are capable of reaching a settlement, there is no reason to pay a mediator to get involved. Conversely, if for some reason there is absolutely no possibility of a settlement, the parties may want to focus on preparing for trial instead. This is especially true since mediation may take away the element of surprise by disclosing a partyís best trial arguments in advance.
However, when settlement is at least a remote possibility, mediation can bring the parties together and get the deal done. Common types of lawsuits that end up in mediation include breach of contract disputes, injury and tort cases, wrongful termination claims, family law matters, and more. Cases that are not appropriate for mediation include DUI and criminal charges, bankruptcy, deportation and related immigration matters, disability appeals, and any other types of cases prosecuted by the government. Cases that do not involve an active dispute, such as estate planning matters or real estate transactions, are also not good candidates.
Choosing the Right Mediator
The best mediator for a particular case will be a law-trained professional who is familiar with the subject matter of the case. Most often, parties should seek out a current or retired attorney with experience litigating similar disputes. It is important to realize, though, that the best attorneys do not always make the best mediators. Successful trial lawyers are known for being aggressive, while successful mediators are known for their ability to help other lawyers calm down and reach a consensus. This distinction is important. For help locating a qualified mediator, contact the local state bar association for a referral.
What to Expect During Mediation
Mediation itself is a rather informal proceeding. First, the parties and their attorneys will meet together with the mediator, usually in a conference room at the mediatorís office. The attorneys for each side will make a short opening presentation, after which the mediator usually splits up the two sides into separate offices or meeting rooms. At this point the mediator will visit with each side individually. The mediator will offer his or her thoughts on case, and the parties can respond by sharing information with the mediator in confidence, or with instructions to pass certain information on to the other side. Moving back and forth between the two rooms, the mediator will convey the partiesí settlement offers and hopefully facilitate a compromise.
Consult with an Attorney Today
If you are involved in a lawsuit that is headed toward mediation, you need to speak with an attorney who is trained in this area of the law. You will be able to get answers to specific questions about your case, and learn how mediation is conducted by professionals in your vicinity.
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Articles About Mediation Law
- To Mediate or Not To Mediate: That Is the QuestionMediation is a term that encompasses a variety of situations and is alternatively referred to as alternative dispute resolution where parties voluntarily come together to resolve a dispute.
- The Five Daubert Factors in Expert Witness TestimonyThe Daubert factors are important for expert witness testimony, and when followed appropriately or applied to an expert, it may reduce or eliminate the possibility of a Daubert challenge from occurring. Reliability and relevance to the subject are the two most important categories, and the five factors that fall under these affect the case from various angles.
- Expert Witness Provides Introduction to Human FactorsHuman factors deal with how a person or multiple individuals interact, use and misuse products, objects, tools, equipment and the environments these situations occur within. For an expertís hire, he or she must explain how the interactions affect the mental, perceptual and physical capabilities and limitations relevant to the case.
- Diagnosis of Treatment of Injury to Tarsometatarsal Joint Complex Explained by Expert WitnessThe more complicated and complex types of injuries and medical conditions require the hire and use of an expert witness, and these professionals are able to explain and confirm diagnosis of these ailments. Joint injuries, diseases and medical complications necessitate additional experts that understand how the workings of the body lead to or are damaged by medical professionals.
- Mandatory Mediation in California DivorceSome processes for California divorce require mediation before the parties are able to proceed to litigation, if that is even possible based on the circumstances of the situation. However, mediation may permit both spouses to seek a nonaggressive and peaceful resolution to the divorce process that provides a compromise to what both are seeking.
- The Many Ways a Legal Nurse Consultant Can Serve as an Expert WitnessA legal nurse consultant can help in litigation by serving as an expert witness. In this context, the legal nurse consultant can help analyze and explain information to the jury or trier of fact. Because of their important role, many law firms have a legal nurse consultant on their team. Others may choose to retain the services of a legal nurse consultant on an as-needed basis.
- Seller's Duty to Disclose Known Defects to Home BuyersYouíve hired the best real estate broker, so you thought, now your home is sold. You go on and soon forget about the old and bring in the new. But then, when you least expect it, you are served with a Demand for Mediation and Arbitration (or Lawsuit) for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why you ask.
- Mandatory Mediation Process Employed in Cases in ItalyIn Italy, mandatory mediation was necessary for many different cases. The regulation was removed for almost a year only to become adopted again with significant modifications.
- What Happens in a Legal Mediation Proceeding?There are several ways that a California business dispute can be resolved, but litigation is usually not the preferred method for doing so.
- Pennsylvania Alternative Dispute Resolution BasicsPennsylvania provides numerous avenues for alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration, which can help save time and money, make the litigation process less stressful, and maximize the possibility of recovery. Read on to learn more.
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Mediation Law - US
- Facts About Mediation
Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that is offered by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as an alternative to the traditional investigative or litigation process. Mediation is an informal process in which a neutral third party assists the opposing parties to reach a voluntary, negotiated resolution of a charge of discrimination.
- Mediation - Alaska Bar Association
Mediation is a confidential and informal way to resolve a dispute with the help of a neutral third person (mediator). The mediator works with both parties to help them reach a mutually agreeable solution to their differences. Mediation proceedings are confidential and informal. The mediator canít issue subpoenas or swear witnesses. The mediator canít force the parties to resolve their differences. But the mediator can help the parties reach a solution agreeable to both of them.
- Mediation - National Mediation Board (NMB)
The purpose of mediation under the Railway Labor Act is to foster the prompt and orderly resolution of collective bargaining disputes in the railroad and airline industries.
- Mediation - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Mediation is a fair and efficient process to help you resolve your employment disputes and reach an agreement. A neutral mediator assists you in reaching a voluntary, negotiated agreement. Choosing mediation to resolve employment discrimination disputes promotes a better work environment, reduces costs and works for the employer and the employee.
- Mediation - Wikipedia
Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), aims to assist two (or more) disputants in reaching an agreement. The disputes may involve states, organizations, communities, individuals or other representatives with a vested interest in the outcome. Mediators use appropriate techniques and/or skills to open and/or improve dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement (with concrete effects) on the disputed matter.
- What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential way to resolve disputes without giving the decision-making power to someone else (like a judge). It involves sitting down with the other side in the dispute and a third-party who is neutral and impartial (the mediator). The mediator helps the parties identify the important issues in the dispute and decide how they can resolve it themselves. The mediator doesn't tell them what to do, or make a judgment about who's right and who's wrong. Control over the outcome of the case stays with the parties.