Jessica A. Stepp
This article provides an overview of the mediation process.
We are in the midst of a litigation crisis. The high cost and long delays associated with the trial of civil matters often make litigation an impractical method of resolving disputes. It is not uncommon for the attorney's fees, expert witness fees, jury fees, court reporter fees and other related costs to exceed the amount in dispute.
Mediating a case before a lawsuit is filed enables the parties to present their case to a mutually selected neutral person before any money is spent on litigation. The cost of mediating a case is minimal compared to the costs incurred through the life of a lawsuit.
Edward P. Ahrens
Okay, we know you can't make decisions. We know you can't issue orders. ('I'm not a judge or an arbitrator, blah, blah, blah.') We know you can't take sides, must always remain neutral. And we know you can't give us legal advice. And then you tell us mediation is a consensual process. Bummer. Now the other side can walk at will! "So, what in the hell DO you do?"
As mediators, lawyers, and their clients gain more experience with mediation, fewer and fewer types of disputes will seem less amenable to the process. Even if mediation only succeeds in improving the parties’ communication, in identifying their underlying interests, in narrowing the issues in conflict, or in helping them more carefully evaluate their litigation option, it can move the dispute towards a quicker, more cost effective resolution.
Mediation is the cutting edge dispute resolution process which resolves litigation at a fraction of the cost, time and emotional pain of trial. The key participants, the parties to litigation, haven't a clue what mediation is or how it works until after they have been through it. This article is addressed to the parties, as opposed to lawyers. It explains what mediation is, how parties can make it work to settle disputes, and thus avoid the nightmare of trial.
Mediation provides a method for people with disputes or conflicts to exercise their own choices and discretion and to regain a sense of control over their lives in resolving disputes. It is a means by which you can be an active participant in the decision making process and have direct involvement in the determination of your destiny.
ELDER & ESTATE MEDIATION
Conflict associated with estate matters, adult guardianship and family care-giving can tear families apart. Present decisions regarding an aging family member can be influenced by past history. More families will be faced with difficult choices as the population ages in growing numbers. Elder Mediation offers the opportunity to avoid going through the court system which can be costly, time-consuming and divisive. A skilled Elder Mediator can help participants focus on the future and arrive at creative solutions.
Eldercare mediation is a growing field that will increase in prominence as the number of elders increases. As parents age, conflicts can erupt between parents and their children over living situations, driving, or the need for more help with daily activities. In addition, conflicts may spring up between siblings about their parents’ aging...
“Mediation can function like a tipping point - a moment when great changes can quickly occur in family dynamics. When certain preconditions are met the forces at work in a complex, intractable family dispute often break apart in the mediation setting.”
Janet E. Mitchell
Being estranged from your family can affect all aspects of your life. Adult brothers and sisters often disagree on the provision of care for their parents. Unfortunately, few families even consider advanced planning with regard to eldercare.
David Gage, John Gromala
Introducing the process of mediation into the estate-planning process gives estate planners a way to handle ethical concerns without sacrificing the clarity that is achieved when one person has separate discussions with each interested party.
Deep, raw feelings well up in strange ways at times of major family transition. Often, the classic legal, financial planning and accounting team isn’t prepared to handle these issues effectively. These are moments when mediation can be an effective vehicle for unbundling complex emotional issues leading to successful estate settlement.
Measuring Conflict Coaching
Those of us who work in organizations are aware of how managers and staff are generally, reactive rather than proactive, regarding the interpersonal conflicts that arise in their workplaces. Unfortunately, by the time conflict and disputes come to the attention of mediators and others who may help, perceptions and positions of the disputants have become increasingly entrenched.