For people in conflict, regardless if an attorney has been hired, mediation (also called Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR) offers a meaningful alternative to emotional and costly legal battles.
Instead of lawyers publicly arguing about the facts and the law to a judge, or before a judge and jury, clients themselves discuss the conflict in private, confidentially, with a neutral third party.
They are guided through the conflict resolution process by a trained, experienced, mediator, who is skilled at sifting through the facts, emotions and individual interests to help clients determine what the issues are and to support them in negotiating what is a fair outcome for them.
Importantly, the mediator is not a judge nor an advocate for either side, but can help sort out and prioritize what’s needed, and help the parties craft an agreement to resolve their dispute.
Resolving issues in an adversarial manner is hard on everyone. It takes a great deal of time and effort as well as money to properly prepare a case for trial and to litigate that case.
The outcome is never guaranteed and can be frustrating. Mediation can remove the uncertainty, lessen the time required, and help bring down the emotional cost to all involved.
Mediation can help you sort out what is most important long term to you and determine what are the areas where you can compromise or let go.
Probate Mediation Services
Dealing with conflict is hard for most of us, most of the time. When the issues underlying the conflict are complicated by the death of someone close to us, feelings of loss and grief can make problem-solving even harder.
Mediation is often a good fit for probate cases. The mediation process is particularly useful when the claims involve ongoing relationships between the parties.
Most cases in probate court involve family members or others who have long-term relationships.
Mediatable issues come in almost any kind of case in the probate jurisdiction. In addition, a few families are choosing mediation at the time of estate planning, in order to resolve issues that might otherwise come up later.
Mediation works best when both parties are seeking an amicable resolution.
Mediation is a process where a neutral person, a mediator, facilitates communication and negotiation to help two or more parties reach a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute.
As a mediator, I use my experience to offer support in creative, practical, and financial problem solving to arrive at a mutually supportive final agreement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which a neutral and objective third party guides the parties towards a mutually beneficial resolution of their conflict or dispute.
A mediator does not impose solutions, but instead empowers the parties by facilitating a conversation between them, helping them to decide whether to reach an agreement and how to structure that agreement.
The mediator assists the parties in identifying their underlying needs and interests, focusing on the issues necessary to resolution, emphasizing areas of commonality, and reaching durable agreements that can preserve and even repair ongoing relationships.
The earlier, the better! As a general rule, the earlier the parties to a dispute go to mediation, the more likely it is that they will be able to resolve their issues, and that the agreement they reach will be a durable one.
The longer the dispute goes on, the more the parties tend to become committed to their positions, and the less willing they tend to be to consider other points of view.
- Mediation preserves ongoing relationships
- Mediation gives parties control over the outcome
- Mediation permits flexible and creative solutions
- Mediation provides an opportunity for meaningful and reasonable dialogue
- Mediation is cost-effective
- Mediation is voluntary
- Mediation is confidential
- Mediation communications are privileged
- Mediation has an extremely high success rate
The mediation process is generally informal. The intention of the process is to come to a binding legal agreement within an agreed upon timeframe.
What typically happens in the mediation process:
- All parties express their points of view
- All parties exchange ideas about how to meet their goals
- The mediator helps them create a mutually acceptable agreement
Getting the Mediation Process Started
The first step in the mediation process starts with a short free phone call with me, so I can answer your questions about mediation and set the agenda for the first meeting.
These calls can either be one-on-one or a conference call and are 10-15 minutes long.
You can schedule a call directly on our calendar.
The next step is to schedule the first mediation session of two hours (and a maximum of four hours). I usually meet with both parties in the same room, however, we can break into separate conversations if needed.
Typically, the number of meditation sessions ranges from one to three sessions. My fee policy is to bill for mediation time, document preparation, and responding to substantive questions between sessions. I’m happy to answer questions about fees if you reach out to ask.