When words such as litigation, lawsuit, or court action are used, many people often conger up images of two lawyers fiercely battling it out in front of a judge and jury at trial. This is not always the case; in fact this is rarely the case, since over 95 percent of all civil litigation settles before trial according to most surveys. How does this happen? The answer is Mediation.
What is Mediation you may be wondering? Mediation is part of a larger umbrella group of settlement techniques known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (also known as ADR) and can be a great tool to help effectuate a settlement. It is completely confidential, and nothing stated at the Mediation can be used against the parties if the case does proceed to trial.
The Mediation generally starts with the parties to the action gathering together in a conference room, where they are introduced to the mediator. The mediator, who is a neutral third party, is in no way a judge for the case. Often the mediator, is a lawyer or former judge, but his or her decisions are in no way binding on the case they are mediating. The goal of the mediator is to broker a settlement by either having the parties negotiate with one another in the common room, or by separating the parties into separate rooms (know an caucusing) where he or she goes back and forth between each room in an attempt bring the parties closer to a settlement. Mediation can be very quick or can take hours or in some cases days, but the great advantage of the Mediation, other than reducing your legal costs, is that the parties control their own destiny rather than a judge.
The basic idea of Mediation is simple, but as with anything there can be complexities where having legal representation is truly beneficial. We, at The Law Office of John A. Wagner, have extensive experience in litigation, but also understand the importance of settlement strategies such as Mediation, and the importance for our clients to have a meaningful participation in the outcome of the case, and are well equipped to handle both.
Call us today for a free consultation.