What is Mediation?
Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution
(ADR) or "appropriate dispute resolution", aims to
assist two (or more) disputants in reaching an
agreement. The parties themselves determine the
conditions of any settlements reached -- rather than
accepting something imposed by a third party. The
disputes may involve (as parties) states,
organizations, communities, individuals or other
representatives with a vested interest in the outcome.
My Philosophy and Practice as a Mediator
I mediate a variety of disputes, and court-ordered mediations before lawsuits go to trial. Unlike arbitration, which is similar to courtroom practice, mediation is an opportunity for the parties to work together to fashion a mutually-acceptable resolution to their dispute that avoids further litigation. In keeping with the spirit of the process, I work to ensure that the tone remains cordial and collaborative, not adversarial.
Although mediations tend to be even less formal than arbitrations, my judicial experience allows me to provide a credible evaluation as to which party ultimately will prevail if the dispute is not resolved. When I suggest to a party that they are acting unreasonably and are unlikely to obtain the resolution they seek, that assessment alone is often convincing enough to avert costly, unnecessary litigation. Even on those occasions when mediation is unsuccessful, often I am asked to preside over a subsequent arbitration. This seamless transition between the two procedures results in cost-savings for clients and faster resolution of the dispute.
Mediation and arbitration are inherently efficient and cost-effective processes and, when done properly,can achieve outcomes that attorneys and litigants will respect.