Lawsuits are one way to resolve disputes, but they may not always be the best way. One alternative is mediation. In general, a mediation faster and less expensive. Unlike most lawsuits, mediations are confidential. Here’s how they work.
Let’s take the example of a couple building a new home. The couple has become dissatisfied with the quality and pace of the construction, so they have stopped payment to the contractor. In response, the contractor has stopped working. The situation seems to be at an impasse, with the homeowners frustrated and the contractor out of work. A court suit would take months if not years to resolve the dispute, so the parties decide to engage a mediator.
In a typical case, the parties would come together on an agreed upon date and location, and a mediator. The mediator would then meet separately with each side, gathering data and insights about the issues and what it might take to resolve the issues. Then the mediator would either bring the parties together to share each other’s points of view or move back and forth between the parties to focus and clarify issues and discuss possible resolutions. Ideally, this process leads to an agreement.
Mediation is becoming increasingly popular in divorce, child custody and visitation cases, as well as in real estate disputes, property damage and landlord-tenant issues.
In addition to saving time and money, mediation tends to increase compliance because both parties pledged at the beginning of the process to abide by a mutually agreed-upon resolution.
Cauthorn Nohr & Owen has several attorneys trained and certified in mediation and ready to help clients reach satisfactory settlements.