What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process where the parties in a dispute meet with a neutral party, the mediator, in order to come to a mutual agreement. The mediator is not a fact finder or a decision maker. If successful, the parties will move towards an agreement which can then be executed by the parties. The benefits of this process include confidentiality and control of the process.
What is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative Law is similar to mediation. The goal is that the parties reach an agreement without having to enter the traditional court system. The difference is that in collaborative law, each party retains an attorney who will work collaboratively along with the other attorney to assist the parties in reaching an agreement.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Surveys have shown that bringing cases before the court systems in the United States often result in a process that is too cumbersome, too expensive, and too time consuming for the average person to bear. Typically between 95 and 98% of all cases are settled before they even reach trial. These settlements are often reached as a result of the parties being financially and emotionally fatigued by the process. When so much time, money and effort is spent on preparing for a process that is so unlikely, it leaves one wondering if there is an alternative to conflict resolution that would prove to be more effective.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is an umbrella term for a variety of resources available to people who would like to avoid litigation, yet still need to resolve a conflict. These resources consist of the process options of negotiation, mediation, Collaborative Law, and arbitration. In negotiation, participants are able to resolve their conflict through discussion without resorting to an additional process. Mediation (sometimes called facilitated negotiation) involves a neutral mediator who helps the parties develop options for the future and usually leads to an agreement that works for all involved. Collaborative Law is a process similar to mediation. However, in Collaborative Law the individuals come together with their separate attorneys and a neutral coach who facilitate the process and assist those with the dispute to develop options that will lead to a resolution. Arbitration involves the parties with their attorneys bringing their dispute before an arbiter who will have the final, binding decision as to the conflict resolution.
Martin Murphy, Esq. is an attorney who strongly believes in the benefits of mediation and Collaborative Law as processes to resolve conflict. Please contact Marty for a free Process Presentation today.