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    A New Year, A New Beginning

    January 13, 2016


    Do you have any current disagreements that might turn into a lawsuit, or any pending litigation that seems far from ever ending? Is that disagreement grating on you everyday, and becoming more and more expensive to litigate with each passing month?

    It’s the start of a new year, a time to take a fresh look at things, and maybe consider your dispute from a new perspective. Rather than continue the day-to-day stress and expense of dealing with your current disagreement or litigation, why not consider mediating the dispute to a conclusion right now so you can eliminate the daily stress and expense on your life?

    How does mediation work?

    No matter where the mediation of your case or dispute takes place, whether it be in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, or Englewood, the process is quite similar. Mediation is the process where parties to a dispute and their attorneys can simply sit down and attempt to negotiate a reasonable settlement satisfactory to both parties. Mediation is a straightforward process. A mediator, who is an impartial observer, meets with the parties and their attorneys in a relaxed setting in an effort to promote open communication and a spirit of cooperation. Mediation In Charlotte County (or any other county for that matter) is somewhat similar to marriage counseling: the mediator will try and get the parties and their attorneys to communicate effectively and openly, so that they might come together, on their own, with a solution to the problem that is better for both than the alternative of taking a case through trial.

    By serving as an impartial facilitator in the process, a mediator attempts to get both sides to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement of the case without further time and attorney fee expense being incurred by the parties to the dispute.

    Does a mediator get to make rulings and decide which party is “right”?

    Absolutely not. A mediator In Charlotte County (or any other county for that matter) has no authority to render a decision. A mediator simply tries to help the parties reach a mutually agreeable solution to their dispute. Mediation is impartial, neutral, and safe. The mediator has an equal and balanced responsibility to assist each mediating party and cannot favor the interests of any one party over another. The mediator’s role is to ensure that parties reach agreements in a voluntarily and informed manner, and not as a result of coercion or intimidation. A disagreement can only be settled if both parties agree to settle. The parties have complete decision-making power in the mediation process, not their attorneys nor the mediator. Nothing can be imposed on the parties by anyone involved in the mediation process.

    Is mediation an available option before a lawsuit is filed?

    Yes. Mediation can occur at any time during a dispute, which surprises most people. In many instances, mediation can occur and be successful prior to a lawsuit ever being filed. This can save the parties a substantial amount of money in attorney’s fees and court costs. In cases where a lawsuit has been filed, the trial judge will likely order the parties to attempt mediation as a way of resolving their case prior to trial. Mediation is mandatory in civil cases in many jurisdictions throughout the State of Florida.

    Is mediation confidential?

    Yes. Anything which the parties say to the mediator or to the other side during the mediation process is confidential. That means the parties can never be questioned about statements they may have made to the mediator or during the mediation process. Whether you pursue medication in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, Englewood, or Venice, confidentiality is a constant throughout the process.

    What are the benefits of mediation?

    1. Mediation promotes economical decisions: Mediation is generally less expensive when contrasted to the expense of litigation.
    2. Mediation promotes swift settlements: In an era when it may take as long as two (2) years to get a trial date, and multiple years if a case is appealed, the mediation alternative often provides a more timely way of resolving disputes. When parties want to get on with business or their lives, mediation may be desirable as a means of producing direct results.
    3. Mediation promotes mutually beneficial outcomes: Parties are generally more satisfied with solutions that have been mutually agreed upon, as opposed to solutions that are imposed by a third party decision-maker such as a judge or jury.
    4. Mediation promotes high rates of compliance: Parties who have reached their own agreement in mediation are also generally more likely to follow through and comply with its terms than those whose resolution has been imposed by a third party decision-maker such as a judge or jury.
    5. Mediation promotes creative, customized settlements: Mediated settlements are able to address both legal and extra-legal issues. The parties can tailor their settlement and its terms to their particular situation in ways that a judge or jury cannot do.
    6. Mediation promotes control by the parties: Parties who negotiate their own settlements have more control over the outcome of their dispute. Gains and losses are more predictable in a mediated settlement than they would be if a case is arbitrated or brought before a judge or jury.
    7. Mediation promotes the preservation of an ongoing relationship or termination of a relationship in a more amicable way: Many disputes occur in the context of relationships that will continue over future years, particularly with disputes involving family members. A mediated settlement that addresses all parties’ interests can often preserve a working relationship in ways that would not be possible in a win/lose lawsuit. Mediation can also make the termination of a relationship more amicable.
    8. Mediation promotes decisions that stand the test of time: Mediated settlements tend to hold up over time, and if a later dispute results, the parties are more likely to utilize a cooperative forum of problem-solving to resolve their differences than to pursue an adversarial approach.

    So if you or someone you know might want to resolve a long-standing business or personal dispute once and for all through mediation in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, or Englewood, please have them contact us and we can schedule mediation which is convenient for all parties and their attorneys.

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