Litigation can be extremely expensive and contentious. Mediation is a process by which parties who have a dispute discuss and resolve issues out of court. They work toward a settlement with the assistance of a neutral third party (the mediator) who facilitates the process. Different mediators use different techniques to help the parties reach a consensus. If the parties can reach an agreement, mediation can take the place of litigation and trial, in which a judge or jury makes the important decisions. While neither party may get exactly what he or she wants, mediation aims at an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. At Neumann Law Group, our Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids mediation lawyers can represent a party to a lawsuit in mediation or serve as a mediator.How Does Mediation Work?
In some cases, the court will order parties to attend mediation, but often parties voluntarily agree to mediate, realizing how expensive litigation is and how little control they will have over the final outcome.
Generally, mediators conduct mediations based on the idea that each party must come to a voluntary, non-coerced decision regarding all aspects of the process, including who the mediator is, which type of mediation is used, and whether they decide to participate in the process or terminate it. The mediator is required to avoid conflicts of interest during and after mediation. In other words, the mediator is supposed to avoid any dealings that suggest bias for one party or the other, or dealings that show self-interest in the subject matter of the case.
Mediation tends to work better when the parties voluntarily attend and are each motivated to reach some sort of agreement, rather than have the court make all the decisions for them. For example, mediation can be very helpful in a family law case in which couples are trying to decide child custody issues, especially if the mediator is an experienced family law attorney who knows how a judge is likely to perceive these issues.
Sometimes it takes multiple mediation sessions to resolve the issues. Each party will have an opportunity to speak with the mediator and explain his or her ideas about the case and the outcome that is sought. The mediator is required to keep information acquired during the process confidential. He or she will discuss with the parties their expectations of confidentiality and share under which circumstances and to what extent, if any, information provided to him or her will be shared with the other party.
The mediator has no decision-making authority. However, a mediator who is also an experienced attorney will have a strong sense of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each side and can help each side come closer to an agreement by making joint decisions.
In some forms of mediation, the mediator can make a written recommendation about issues that are not able to be resolved between the parties. The mediator usually only does this if the parties agree they want the recommendation, and the parties do not need to accept the recommendation. In a voluntary mediation, the recommendation will not make its way to the judge unless both parties agree to the disclosure.Consult a Mediation Lawyer in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
There are many types of conflicts that may be susceptible to resolution through mediation. If you are trying to reach an agreement over a dispute, the knowledgeable Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City mediation attorneys at Neumann Law Group may be able to provide our services in a broad range of matters. We represent people in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula, as well as in California and Massachusetts. Our firm also provides services to people who need an injury attorney or guidance in a matter related to criminal defense, family law, real estate, estate planning, or collections. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form for a free consultation.