When clients place importance on maintaining amicable relationships and playing an active role in the resolution process, Mediation is an excellent alternative to the traditional process of litigation. Quite simply, Mediation allows parties involved in a dispute to arrive at their own resolution with the help of a mediator. Unlike traditional litigation, Mediation allows the parties to meet together with a neutral mediator to work through their issues, focusing on achieving a resolution that both parties can support. The role of mediator is to be neutral, rather than choosing sides, or deciding who is right or wrong. In the process of Mediation, each party may be assisted by legal counsel, and, if the parties agree, the mediation can be binding.
Choosing Mediation in lieu of litigation has many benefits, including:
- Lower costs
- Less emotional conflict
- Resolution of interpersonal conflict
- Shorter wait time for resolution
- Direct participation by involved parties to reach final outcome
In the Mediation process, parties to a dispute use a neutral party to facilitate a mutually agreeable resolution to their conflict. It is a confidential process in which the mediator, a third-party neutral, directs settlement discussions, but does not render a judgment on any issue in dispute. To begin the process, involved parties meet with the mediator during an initial consultation to discuss their case and to develop an action plan, either with or without having attorneys present. The mediator helps the parties reach their own negotiated settlement by holding joint sessions with all parties present followed by caucuses with each party individually, during which issues are defined, emotions are defused, and potential resolutions are discussed.
Mediation is a non-adversarial way to resolve conflicts, including lawsuits. The Mediation process is valuable because it brings a knowledgeable, neutral person into a dispute to provide a forum in which a party can state his/her grievance against the other party as well as reveal confidentially to the mediator just what he or she needs in order to settle. Because the sessions are totally confidential, parties can feel comfortable discussing their cases with candor. The mediators can contribute by realistically assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case and the reasonableness of proposed settlements.
At MacElree Harvey we have attorneys in Pennsylvania and Delaware who act as mediators to resolve disputes for parties. In addition, we have attorneys who are skilled at representing our own clients in Mediation proceedings in Pennsylvania and Delaware.