At RJ Fichera Law Firm, we counsel clients who agree to try mediation as an option to address their legal dispute. We will provide strong, sound advice and guide you through the process. Contact us at 610-768-9255 to schedule a Free Consultation and to learn whether mediation might be a viable option for you.
Mediation is a form of ADR where a neutral third party assists the parties to try and reach a mutually agreeable resolution.
In mediation, the parties retain a high degree of control over proceedings. They agree on the mediator—often someone with experience relevant to the subject of the dispute—and ultimately decide the outcome. The mediator doesn't suggest a settlement or adjudicate the matter like in arbitration. Instead, they aid discussions between the parties, encouraging them to find common ground.
Mediation can be ideal for cases where the parties want to maintain their relationship or where negotiations have become too emotional.
A mediator can impartially assist the parties toward productive discussions.
Mediation may not be suitable where a party refuses to compromise or is reluctant to take part in the process. Given the informal nature of mediation, it may also not be appropriate where there is a power imbalance between the parties, and the one with more bargaining power seeks to take advantage of the other.
There are different types and styles of mediation available, depending on the state, the case, and the parties' preferences.
In facilitative mediation, the mediator guides a discussion between the parties to help them understand each other's position and interests. The mediator doesn't express their views but instead encourages the parties to find a resolution. A legal analysis of the case is usually secondary to the interests and wants of the parties.
In contrast, the mediator in evaluative mediation highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the parties' cases and may offer an opinion on the outcome of the matter at trial. For this reason, the mediator is usually a legal expert on the issue at the heart of the dispute who can give a legal analysis of the case.
While facilitative and evaluative mediation focus on resolution, transformative mediation aims to repair and rebuild the relationship between the parties so they can find an agreed resolution. The mediator does this by helping the parties to recognize and understand each others' interests and needs.
Evaluative mediation is often used in the context of court-mandated mediation, where the court orders the parties to mediate in an attempt to settle the matter before trial. Court-mandated mediation is mandatory, and the parties must participate.
Med-arb combines features of both mediation and arbitration. The matter is first mediated. If the parties are unable to resolve the matter, the matter proceeds to arbitration, where the mediator (now arbitrator) makes a binding decision quickly.
Arb-med also combines the mediation and arbitration processes but in reverse. An arbitrator conducts a hearing and issues a decision but seals it. The parties then try to mediate the matter with the arbitrator's (now mediator's) help. If mediation is unsuccessful, the decision is unsealed and becomes binding on the parties.
Mediation is used in all areas of law, but it is most common in the following areas.
Because mediation is an important step to resolution, because the mediator will play a major role in this effort, and because you choose who acts as the mediator in your case, it is important to identify the qualifications to be a mediator in Pennsylvania.
General requirements include the following:
Many states have additional requirements, including certification. To reiterate, each state will have some variation on these requirements. Your attorney can help confirm that the mediator you choose has the qualifications required and desired.
Mediation is used because it offers a number of benefits and advantages for both parties.
Mediation has its downsides, too, depending on how it's perceived.
Many people wonder whether they need an attorney if there is a mediator. In most cases, an attorney is optional but is almost always beneficial. Here's an overview of a mediator's role versus an attorney's role in mediation.
Mediation is a great way to avoid litigation and resolve legal issues. With the guidance and advocacy of an attorney, it can be most effective. Contact RJ Fichera Law Firm today either by using our or calling us at 610-768-9255 to schedule a Free Consultation. We will review your case and confirm whether mediation might be a suitable starting point.
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