Most people don’t want to have to go to court. A court experience can be costly, adversarial and drawn-out over many months. Win or lose, it can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
That’s especially so when you can’t walk away after it’s all done: when you’ll have to live with both the outcome and the people involved in your dispute. Whether it’s a conflict with a neighbour, a customer, an employee or a spouse, you’d probably like to preserve the relationship as best you can. Here at Anderson Adams, we understand that.
So when will mediation work?
First of all, mediation is always voluntary. Both people have to agree to mediate. It takes two to tango: and if the other party’s not interested, they can’t be compelled to mediate. However, you could always suggest that they read this blog to learn more about the process! Maybe they’ll be prepared to give it a try.
Secondly, it’s best to approach mediation in a spirit of compromise. Black-and-white thinking, a “my way or the highway” attitude, will seldom be of much help in resolving the problem. Much better is an attitude of willingness to listen. To consider all of the options. Thinking flexibly helps us manage our emotions so that we can consider alternative and more moderate behaviours. Ideally at the end of a mediation both parties will consider that they’ve got what they wanted or needed, and that the solution they’ve crafted together is better than taking the risk of losing in court.
Thirdly, you need to know that a mediator is neutral. The mediator isn’t going to take your side or the other side. The mediator is helping both of you find the resolution which will be workable for you and for the other party. That “win/win” outcome.
Finally, a mediator’s report will not be binding. The mediator’s report simply records the broad terms of any agreement you reach with the other party. You’ll want to review the mediator’s report with your own lawyer and have a binding agreement drawn up, which can then be incorporated into a court order if that’s needed.
However, there’s one exception to that “non-binding” outcome: and that’s when you’re both committed also to arbitration. That means if you don’t reach mediated agreement, your mediator becomes your arbitrator, also able to make a binding decision just like a judge in a court. So you need to consider: are you just interested in mediation, or in mediation followed by arbitration if you can’t agree?
Mike Adams is a well-respected mediator and arbitrator. With four decades of varied legal experience he’s familiar with a wide range of legal issues including family law disputes, estate disputes, employment, contract, property boundary and real estate or construction law matters. Anderson Adams has comfortable office space to accommodate your mediation or arbitration. And because Mike is strongly committed to the value of mediation and arbitration, he significantly reduces the hourly rate he ordinarily charges when he’s acting as a lawyer.
Would you rather get your matter resolved out of court privately and with dignity and reasonable speed? Are you and the other party both interested in crafting a creative solution: something a judge might not be able to order? Would you like to try to renew or rebuild your working relationship in hopes of getting along better going forward? Then mediation, with or without arbitration, may very well be the best approach for you.
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