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Alternative Dispute Resolution Techniques – Mediation

by Frie, Arndt & Danborn

Alternative Dispute Resolution Techniques – Mediation

Mediation is a process whereby

Value of Written Agreements -a neutral and impartial third party (the mediator)

-facilitates communication between negotiating parties which

-may enable the parties to reach settlement.

Mediation is recommended when the parties’ emotions or positional bargaining have restricted their ability to negotiate with each other, but they do not want to relinquish the decision-making authority to a judge or arbitrator. It is an appropriate method to use when parties want to preserve their ongoing relationship or terminate an existing relationship in the least adversarial way.

In mediation, the mediator, a neutral and impartial third party, facilitates communications between the parties in a private and confidential meeting. The mediator has no decision-making authority and can give legal information but not legal advice. An experienced mediator can often help the parties generate optional solutions which are not available through litigation or developed by parties in direct negotiation.

Mediation may be inappropriate if the case presents constitutional or precedent-setting issues for which a judicial opinion is desired. It may not be advisable if a party is unable to negotiate due to substance abuse, psychological impairment, physical or emotional abuse by the other party, or ignorance. Because the process is based on voluntary disclosure, parties may be at risk if they are not knowledgeable of the facts of the case. The process may not be successful if the mediator’s qualifications, attitude or style are inconsistent with the needs of the parties.

To address these problems, parties in mediation should be represented by attorneys who can educate them about the process and advise them of their legal rights and the probability of success should the case be litigated. Attorneys may attend the mediation sessions with their clients. Discovery may be conducted prior to or during the mediation process. The parties must understand that a mediator can help them create solutions, but it is the parties themselves who ultimately share responsibility for the outcome.

Mediation is an efficient and cost effective method for resolution of simple and complex cases. It is a process which increases both the likelihood and quality of settlement.

Our firm attempts to utilize Alternative Dispute Resolution in each case in which it would benefit the client.  Additionally, Jim Arndt is a private mediator and acts as a neutral third party to resolve disputes out of court.  Please give our office a call to assist you with your legal problems.

 

This is an excerpt from an article published by the Colorado Bar Association, 2002. https://www.cobar.org/index.cfm/ID/211/subID/1244/CAAD/Manual-on-Alternative-Dispute-Resolution/