Settlement negotiation is facilitated by an independent third party in a voluntary, non-binding and confidential process. This process is useful in addressing not only monetary settlements but also underlying emotional issues. Mediation can help with a wide variety of situations from workplace disputes, professional or business conflicts to pending litigation.
The areas in which mediation has proven successful include:
In personal injury cases, the litigation often focuses exclusively on the bottom line of a financial settlement. Mediation, on the other hand, allows the feelings of the injured person to be more directly attended to leading to a greater degree of satisfaction in the outcome. Some people regard mediation as offering what tort law seeks to provide: the possibility of restoring the injured party to their condition before the injury occurred. In many cases, people are able to genuinely achieve closure and go on with their lives.
There is a growing interest in conflict resolution in the workplace, partly because of the cost of litigation over employment issues. Perhaps more importantly, in every employment situation, there is an investment in productive and ongoing relationships. Employment mediation assists parties uncover underlying issues and bring renewed understanding and open communication to benefit the interests of each side.
Succession, Estate Planning and Probate
Families engaged in succession and probate issues often find themselves doing so when they are in a vulnerable state. Even estate planning, which may occur long before bereavement is faced, raises a host of subjective issues in which family members experience conflicting emotional as well as monetary needs. Mediation is especially helpful in these situations because it offers a safe and confidential process through which to strengthen relationships and forestall future conflict.
Construction, Real Estate and Property
Construction mediation, real estate disputes and property issues include many factually complex and emotionally charged cases, often involving multiple parties. With patience, perseverance and a commitment to resolution, settlements can often be reached which ensure that the needs of all parties are addressed.
Commercial Contracts and Business Partnerships
Mediation is suitable for a spectrum of issues, from forming a partnership to dissolution of a partnership, as well as matters concerning commercial contracts. An understanding of what motivates people is an essential part of mediating financial and business conflicts just as it is in personal disputes. Mediation is able to address the expectations and needs that are written into a contract or partnership agreement and ensure that clear communication and mutual respect are enhanced.
Environmental and Land Use
There are a wide range of issues associated with environmental planning and land use often involving multiple parties and complex and often conflicting interests including chemical exposures, landfill site, land use, water pollution and hazardous waste disposal sites. Mediation can often be helpful in working through the many public interests, identifying underlying interests and finding appropriate community- based solutions.
Divorce and Family Law
Families in serious conflict often find mediation helpful. The public exposure of going to court is often unthinkable for those who want to preserve family relationships. Effective mediation can help create workable and durable agreements and often strengthen the underlying relationships. In divorce cases, as in any family situation, an environment of kindness and support within which to engage in the difficult work of refashioning an important relationship is critical.