Mediation can be a real eye-opening experience for many people, especially with the realization that they can avoid the adversarial nature of the courtroom, not to mention the overwhelming expense, exorbitant amounts of time involved, and stress–all with the assistance of a professional with mediation experience The mediation usually occurs in a much more relaxed setting, and a mediator may even meet with the parties involved after hours due to work schedules or perhaps on a weekend.
In California, a mediator can hang out their shingle whether they have formal training or not. No license or degree is required, although many mediators are lawyers, or retired legal professionals. If you are engaged in a complex legal dispute, you may require a mediator with experience in the field, and one who has knowledge of the topic at hand; for instance, if finances are in dispute, you may want a mediator who actually does have a legal and/or accounting background.
The mediator’s greatest talents usually must lie in being able to take a backseat while disputing parties discuss the issues that landed them there. The mediator is not there to decide the case by any means. They do need to be extremely educated on the problem that brought everyone to mediation though, and this usually means that mediator meets with both parties, separately, before the mediation begins. This allows the mediator to compile information regarding the legal dispute and take some time to reflect on it before the process begins.
The mediator must remain neutral, but kick into high gear when a stalemate is reached. Depending on how severely communications have broken down, they will have to work with each party in discussing better ways to think about and resolve the dispute so they can agree to a settlement and move on. ‘Thinking outside the box’ often becomes a necessity, and mediators usually have an arsenal of skills to encourage this.
Along with knowing how to communicate effectively and help during an impasse, mediators are also responsible for completing all the legal documents at the end of the mediation, outlining what type of settlement has been agreed on and filing it with the court. Once all authorized parties have agreed and signed the settlement, it is considered a binding document.
The Bolender Law Firm will advocate on behalf of clients through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!