Dispute Resolution at a Fraction of the Cost of Litigation
Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.
– Rita Mae Brown
If you are involved in a lawsuit, you know how costly attorney’s fees and costs can get. You get to a point where what you were fighting for is less than what you envision yourself spending to achieve it. Mediation is a way to get all parties to the table and settle the dispute without the need for continuing costly litigation. If your attorney has not discussed mediation with you, ask about this option. Almost every lawsuit is eventually sent to mediation by the Court. Even if you do not end up settling the claims, the process of discussing your lawsuit and defenses is invaluable, making both sides smarter as to what the end result may look like. Discuss this option with your attorney immediately.
Cases that deal with marriage, domestic partnerships, separation of marital property and debts, and, of course, children, are extremely emotional and complicated. The emotions get in the way of reason, and many a family case turns into an attorney’s fee case, where the lawyers are owed more than the property is worth, or the process takes years if resolved by the Court. Further, Orders from the Court regarding children, and what is in the best interest of a child, are decided not by you, but by a Judge, with input sometimes from other parties. All this costs time and money. All family cases are referred to mediation at some point by the Court. Discuss mediation early on with your attorney, before time and cost become frustrating and excessive. Mediation in the context of a familial dispute is one of the most powerful tools available.
Mediating without an Attorney (Pro-Se)
If you are involved in a dispute over money, property, or a family issue such as dissolution of marriage (divorce) or a parenting plan for your children after separation or divorce, instead of independently seeking attorneys, both sides can make the self-determined decision to attend mediation to work our their differences and move on quickly with minimal cost. Although a mediator can not advise you on the law or your rights, he or she can assist you in working through the problem, and coming out with a solution based on what both sides agree is reasonable. Regardless of how emotional either side is, it is simply a cost-effective approach to take matters into your own hands, and settle a dispute quickly, and with minimal cost.
Whether you do or do not reach an agreement, everything that happens in mediation stays in mediation. Everything is confidential. Mediators are immune from having to testify in Court on matters they have mediated. So you can feel comfortable that what you say, can never be used against you in Court.
Further, mediators are allowed to speak to parties separately from the other litigants in the case. These private sessions between parties and mediators allow everyone to use the mediator as a vehicle of communication of ideas, while not having the other party present. Most mediations end up with the parties in separate rooms, and the mediator going back and forth.
I always tell the parties “I get an instant case of amnesia the moment the meeting concludes.” It’s the law that gives me that amnesia so that I can better assist all the parties.
If you reach an agreement or even a partial one, the issue or issues agreed upon are settled and done. The Court can always help you enforce the terms of the agreement, but that is usually a much simpler and more efficient process than litigating all the issues in a particular case or dispute.
Of course, not all mediations result in an agreement. However, even those that do not, provide the parties an invaluable opportunity, in a confidential, informal setting, to listen to the other side’s arguments and defenses.
Discuss mediation with your attorney, or contact me regarding your case.
Schedule your mediation conference online at one of our Florida locations, telephonically, or at a location everyone agrees on.
Work with the mediator and all parties involved in the dispute to settle the issues without Court intervention.
Save potentially hundreds or thousands of Dollars in legal fees, and months of time arguing in Court.
If an agreement is reached, the dispute is settled; if an agreement can't be reached, you are in the same position you were prior to mediation, but much smarter about your case.
It starts with you. If you have an attorney, discuss getting the case in front of a mediator as soon as possible. The earlier in the lawsuit or dispute, the better, as fees and costs can begin to accrue quickly.
Once you have decided to attend mediation, your attorney can reach out to the other side in an attempt to have them agree on attending mediation, and selecting a mediator. Even if the other side doesn’t agree, your attorney can always ask the Court to Order mediation. Most Courts in Florida send both parties to mediation, even if only one asks.
Once at the neutral setting putting aside the emotions associated with your dispute will save you time and money in the long run. If you were a party that did not want to attend mediation, approach the process with openness, knowing you haven’t waived any rights or claims by attending, but realize that you could end this dispute that very same day, at a lesser cost than if it continues in Court.
Most lawsuits are resolved by agreement or settlement. Many of those settlements are reached at mediation. Going to trial is usually very costly and time-consuming. Many litigants get “sticker shock” when their attorneys tell them the required retainers for proceeding to trial. Mediation can save you all that expense and time.
Over 2,000 Mediations Conducted
Examples of Mediated Cases
Bank v. Homeowner
Homeowner going through hardship, no longer able to afford their mortgage payments due to reduction in income. Learn More
Mom v. Dad
After 12 years of marriage, Mom and Dad have now chosen to split up. They own a home, two cars, and, more importantly, have two kids they both love. Learn More
Developer v. Investor
Developer and Investor joined forces a few years ago to build homes. The market has changed, and the Investor wants out.
Employee v. Employer
Employee is let go from their job, but had not received a paycheck in two months.
Web Developer v. Business Owner
Web developer hired to create a business website on company servers. Website delivered, payment never made.
Spouse v. Spouse
Young couple married for five years, want to amicable divorce. They own a home and two cars all in one spouse’s name.
2nd Mortgage v. Homeowner
Homeowner took out a 2nd Mortgage on their house while property values were high. Today, property values are less than what is owed on 1st.
Employer v. Employee
Employer terminated employee after noticing there may have been corporate theft of clients and intellectual property.