Monday, March 08, 2010

Mediation

From my weekly (AM) radio segment titled "Legal Minute"

Going to court is a very costly and time-consuming process. So, we sometimes consider mediation for certain civil disputes such as those arising out of contracts, leases, small business issues and divorce. Estranged business partners may choose mediation by which to separate their affairs and divide the business assets. Mediation may also work well in dealing with issues with a neighbor, roommate, or co-worker because it may allow long-term peace to be restored between the parties. In a court action, there will be one winner and one loser. In a mediation, the goal is to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution after allowing both parties to present all issues in dispute. This process can uncover interpersonal issues that gave rise to the problem at hand. The basic process of mediation is conducive to achieving a mutually agreeable result. Opening statements begin the mediation, then are followed by each party‚Äôs presentation of their facts, after that, there are private caucuses. Following the private caucuses is the joint negotiation session and then a closing once the resolution of the issue has been agreed.  Mediations can be an effective self-help, low cost measure to dealing with interpersonal civil disputes.