Parties to a lawsuit often realize very quickly that the process can become expensive, time consuming and stressful. At some point in the lawsuit, the parties often want to see if there is a way to resolve the case short of going to trial. Mediation has become one way to facilitate the settlement discussions.
The parties agree on a mediator and then arrange a convenient time to attend the mediation. The mediation can take place at any agreed location, but usually the mediation is conducted at the mediator’s office. Each side explains to the mediator their position and the key areas where there is disagreement. The mediator meets with the lawyers and parties in order to get the “big picture” of the dispute. The mediator then works to help each side honestly consider the various potential outcomes. The costs versus benefits of achieving the hoped-for results is also evaluated.
Mediation allows the parties to fashion the settlement, whereas going to trial leaves the results in the hands of the jury. Mediation can be challenging, but most parties who have gone through the process agree that having a lawsuit resolved is well worth the effort and cost savings. Kirkpatrick & Startzel offers mediation services and is happy to answer any questions about the process.
By: Paul Kirkpatrick