Dispute resolution doesn’t always have to occur in a courtroom. However, it’s often where many civil legal issues end up, despite skilled legal teams working toward a more peaceful resolution. Personal and business conflicts can certainly be settled through litigation, but one party may dislike the outcome to the detriment of the law firm they have been working with. While you may believe that your firm is protected by a successful outcome, it’s also possible that nobody leaves satisfied. Sometimes, previously amicable working relationships won’t survive court or litigation.
When attorneys have worked with their clients and litigation has become too emotionally taxing or too expensive for your clients, mediation might be the answer for them. Mediation through the Law Office of Michael G. Wales can ensure your clients have realistic and workable solutions.
Mediation is quicker and cheaper than litigation, and when it is successful, both sides can walk away having accomplished some of their goals from the process. There are many additional benefits to mediation worth considering.
There are many ways mediation can protect your firm and your clients. As attorneys know, litigation isn’t just long and expensive for their clients. The end result can be hostile, public, competitive, rigid, and sometimes unproductive in the long term. In many lawsuits, the parties at odds have some existing relationship that was beneficial or at least amicable, but after the litigation process, it becomes strained. Your law firm can be affected by this kind of dispute.
In litigation and mediation, it is typical and recommended that both parties have legal counsel. While having legal representation introduces important and knowledgeable parties to the dispute, the lawyers are not neutral. A judge is neutral, and so is a mediator. The judge, however, is beholden to execute their own state’s laws, while a mediator can work across state or even international lines to encourage a mutually agreeable solution. When you work with an impartial mediator, you protect your clients and your firm.
The public nature of a court case can also be difficult for clients. The details of their most private details become matters of public record. Many clients don’t realize it; mediation is an easy way to avoid this kind of publicity. Whether the case is a property dispute among neighbors or an intellectual property battle among multinational corporations, privacy protects your clients. While privacy is largely impossible during most stages of litigation, it is one of the important benefits of mediation.
Mediation allows for hostility to be set aside in the interest of determining an outcome amenable to all parties. Some outcomes can be negotiated and agreed to under mediation that simply isn’t possible once a case goes to trial.
The importance of having the respective legal counsels as a part of the mediation process but working with a neutral mediator allows those attorneys to benefit greatly from the flexibility afforded under this arrangement. Binding contracts and agreements can be created during mediation. If handled with the utmost professionalism and legal expertise, those agreements can offset the need for litigation.
You may have assumed that your client’s situation would be quickly resolved, but now it seems that the litigation process isn’t fruitful. It may seem endless, and clients can become disillusioned with the process. Sometimes the move to mediation is the best way for all sides to realize how exasperating the experience of continual court dates, motions, hearings, and discovery is.
As an attorney, you know that finding the right mediator for your client is crucial. A mediator who has experience with complicated legal matters and high-stakes negotiations can work well with both you and your clients.
The availability and widespread acceptance of hosting meetings remotely through virtual video conferences has opened up new opportunities for mediation. While our firm is located in San Diego, we work across the country and often conduct mediation sessions entirely via Zoom. Even if the parties who are in the dispute are on opposite sides of the world, they can now sit for mediation without the expense of travel.
There are several reasons to consider online mediation, regardless of whether the opposing parties are geographically near or far apart. It’s much easier to schedule a meeting where all parties can set aside the need for physical attendance. Secure video conferences also offer tremendous confidentiality features, allowing the mediator to hold separate breakout sessions with each party to gain a better understanding of the issues and what each side hopes to gain.
The crafting of agreements and circulation for signing and legal execution don’t need to suffer from mediation moving online. An experienced online mediator can manage and disseminate legal documents electronically efficiently and expeditiously.
Among the most important benefits is the suppression of emotions meeting on a computer screen versus face-to-face often allows. If the parties are so contentious that litigation has become a problem, even a mediation meeting can quickly turn counterproductive when both parties are in the same room. When mediation is conducted virtually, there are ample opportunities to cool off emotional flare-ups and quickly get conversations back on track to reach a resolution.
At the Law Offices of Michael G. Wales, we have strict procedures for how sessions are carried out. Online mediation sessions with us are conducted via a secure Zoom connection.
On the date mediation is to be conducted, participants are admitted to the Zoom conference one at a time and assigned to breakout rooms to avoid contentious interactions between the parties. The mediator will visit each breakout room throughout the proceedings. Both parties are encouraged to submit pre-meeting briefs to assist the mediator in gaining background on where each side stands and what they hope to gain from the mediation process.
Attorneys can help clients get the outcome that they want in a more peaceful environment with The Law Offices of Michael G. Wales. Our firm has resolved disputes nationwide. If litigation is already ongoing or seems like an inevitability for your client, consider the option of mediation. Contact us today to learn more.
One option for a person, couple, or business in conflict is to
go to court. The legal system can resolve their dispute, but
the emotional and financial costs can be devastating.
Many disputes have a prior history of an amicable relationship. Litigation (arbitration or court) will likely kill any prospect of continued relations.
Conducting mediation online, as opposed to in-person, provides the opportunity to extend the benefits of these alternatives to many disputes including, but not limited to, the following:
Disputes between parties who are too geographically distant to enable a meeting to take place;