March 7th, 2019 by FH&P Lawyers

Legal proceedings can be long, expensive, and time consuming.There is an alternative or complementary process which may allow parties in a dispute to settle it faster and cheaper than going to trial:Mediation. Mediation is a voluntary settlement process in which the parties are assisted by a third party (the mediator) to negotiate a resolution. Mediators do not give legal advice, take sides, or impose decisions.

There are many benefits to attempting to mediate a dispute.Mediation allows the parties the flexibility of designing a solution that is tailored to their specific needs. It can resolve a dispute without going to court, at an early stage, and is generally far less expensive than paying counsel to prepare and attend trial. Frequently, the parties agree to share the cost of mediation. Mediation can save money and reduce stress.

Mediation is a private process and the parties can agree to keep the terms of a settlement confidential.What goes on at mediation is also privileged, which means that the positions the parties take cannot later be used against them if they are unable to settle.A mediator cannot be called as a witness in court.

Mediators are neutral. They do not give legal advice, do not make or impose decisions on the parties, and do not take sides in the mediation. Their role is to facilitate settlement discussions between the parties. Although emotions will run high from time to time, with the assistance of a skilled mediator, parties can often work out arrangements that resolve their dispute without the necessity of litigation. In mediation, parties take control and ownership of their solutions rather than having a third party, such as a judge or arbitrator, impose a solution upon them.

FH&P has two of our very own accredited mediators, Gillian Dougans, who specializes in legal disputes and workplace conflicts, and Heidi Taylor, our family mediator. Check out our following series on mediation to find out more about it, and to hear from our mediators!

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