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MEDIATION Negotiation involving a neutral third-party to help parties develop their own solutions

Mediation can be the most effective step in preventing problems from escalating into legal claims. It offers the clear advantages of cost-effectiveness and speed with high success rates. Mediation resolves many employment, business and community disputes without jeopardizing legal options.

FOR SUCCESSFUL MEDIATION

·    Prepare — Preparation is critical. Participants should review case history, copy important documents, and consider their "bottom-line" options for agreement.

·    Ask your attorney Attorney participation in mediation is discretionary, but many parties choose to contact their attorney for advice even when no legal issues are at stake.

·    Select an experienced mediator — A skilled mediator will facilitate communication so that parties have realistic expectations. A mediator should be selected based on experience with the issues and a strong background in accepted mediation practice.

·    Deal with emotions — Most conflict involves some emotional component. An experienced mediator does not avoid emotions, instead channeling them privately for a productive outcome. This allows parties to express feelings without derailing the process.

·    Follow-up — Mediation often resolves disputes during the first meeting. Parties who do not reach agreement should not be discouraged. They may need additional documentation or time to re-evaluate options. The mediator can continue the communication beyond the initial meeting. Such follow-up can be highly effective.

 

 

ENHANCING THE POTENTIAL OF MEDIATION

Early mediation — Mediation "on the courtroom steps" is successful in legal cases at considerable expense to the clients because of the cost of discovery. It may also be effective much earlier in the process with considerable savings. An experienced mediator works with parties to determine the point when sufficient information is available and before the disagreement escalates into a legal claim.

Expanded range of mediation — Most parties first experience mediation in a legal case at the encouragement of their attorney. They often become comfortable mediating a wider variety of difficult problems before problems escalate – employment claims, interpersonal disputes, and group disagreement.

 

 

 

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