San Antonio Mediation Lawyer Providing Mediation Services for Clients
Mediated agreements tend to be more favorable to both parties than a court order, especially in cases involving family law, but also in a wide variety of other matters. This is due to the fact that the process of going to court is very labor-intensive, time-consuming, and can usually get expensive for both parties. Learn how mediation works and the role of a mediation attorney can play in helping you reach a resolution for your legal dispute without enduring the headaches of a court trial.
What Is Mediation?
When two parties have to resolve a legal dispute between them, they may choose one of many methods. If reaching a resolution by themselves is not possible or not feasible, they may resort to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) method before taking matters to the litigation phase. Mediation is one type of ADR method in which both parties meet in a more informal setting to discuss their issues with the goal of reaching a mutual agreement.
The mediation process is typically less time-consuming than a formal lawsuit and can potentially help parties reach a resolution without the elevated costs of a court battle. The mediation process requires the presence of both parties and a neutral party (the mediator). The mediator facilitates the conversation without making any decisions or determining which party is right but will employ a variety of tools to help both parties come to an agreement.
What Happens During the Mediation Process?
Mediation is, in essence, a problem-solving process and can occur in a few different ways depending on the case and on the mediator’s preferred style. Many mediators choose to simply facilitate the communications between the two parties, remaining neutral but assisting the parties through the negotiation process and conducting them toward a resolution.
The mediation process may begin with a joint session in which both parties are in the same room. If the parties have an attorney, then each attorney may also be in attendance. Depending on the issue to be resolved, the mediator may choose to begin by speaking to each party separately before initiating a joint session.
The mediator may then ask each party to give an opening statement, providing their side of the story and allowing them to express their opinions. Each contested issue is discussed one at a time, and the mediator may encourage both parties to explore different solutions and come to an agreement to settle their issues. Mediation meetings can last for several hours, depending on the complexity of the matters being discussed and the level of disagreement between the parties.
What Happens if the Parties in the Mediation Cannot Reach an Agreement?
Mediation is an opportunity for opposing parties to solve their matters outside of the courtroom, but not every mediation process is successful. By choosing mediation, you are not giving up your rights to pursue legal action in court. If mediation is not successful, you have a few different options you may pursue.
First, you may attempt to go through a new mediation process. If you believe your current mediator was ineffective or unable to help you reach an agreement, you may choose a new mediator and try to resolve your differences once again. Sometimes, a mediation results in partial agreements in which the parties were able to resolve certain issues but others still remain unresolved.
If you have only a partial agreement or have not reached any resolution at all, you may choose to go to trial. By choosing to go to trial, you will be asking a judge to review your case and make a decision for you. Keep in mind that all matters discussed in mediation remain confidential, so if the other party has disclosed any sensitive information, you may not be able to use that information as evidence against them in a court trial.
What Is the Role of a Mediation Attorney?
When you agree to enter a mediation process, it is important to understand that the mediator is a neutral party that will not act as an attorney for either side of the negotiation. Many mediators are attorneys that received specialized training in mediation, and while their role as a mediator requires them to work with both sides and give them tools to reach an agreement on their own, they cannot stand up for the interests of either party.
That is why bringing your attorney along for the mediation process can be extremely helpful. The attorney can play an essential role in informing you of your rights and protecting your best interests. That way, you can make informed decisions based on what is best for you without giving up on any of your rights. The parties in mediation may each choose to bring their attorney for the whole mediation meeting or may sometimes opt to call their attorney at the end of the meeting for advice before signing the final agreement papers.
Why Hire a Mediation Attorney?
Whether you are looking for an experienced mediator to help you solve a legal matter outside of the courtroom or you need an attorney on your side to guide you through a difficult mediation process, the team at Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy is here to help. Attorney S. Dylan Pearcy and his legal team provide mediation services for a wide variety of matters, serving clients in San Antonio and surrounding areas. Contact us at (210) 953-7486 to learn more.