What to Expect During Mediation
Mediation is a process that occurs outside of court in which a neutral third party, called a mediator, assists disputing parties in resolving their issues. Mediation can include individuals or companies and their lawyers. Generally speaking, during mediation, each side meets with a mediator to try to resolve their dispute, agree to a settlement, and avoid costly litigation.
At G.R. (Randy) Akin, P.C., our attorneys help clients prepare for mediation by thoroughly explaining what to expect during mediation in Longview, TX. Let’s take a closer look at the steps involved in mediation so that you can have a better understanding of what to expect during the mediation process.
Mediation begins with both parties in the same room with their mediator. The mediator begins with an opening statement in which they introduce everyone. The mediator will also explain the goals of mediation and what rules will need to be followed. Often, each side is reminded to try to cooperate towards reaching an agreement.
Each side is then allowed to make an opening statement, without interruption from the other side. Opening statements may include a description of the dispute and its repercussions, such as financial damages and emotional distress.
After opening statements, the mediator may allow each party to respond to the other’s opening statements in an effort to further understand the issue.
Once the joint discussion concludes, each party will go to a separate room and be given a private caucus where they will meet with the mediator without the other side present.
During private caucuses, the mediator will go between the rooms to discuss each parties’ position and exchange offers. This back and forth process will continue until the parties are ready to move on or until time allows.
It’s also important to note that things said during mediation are confidential. If mediation fails and the dispute is brought to trial, things discovered during mediation are typically not admissible in court.
Often, settlement negotiation occurs during the private caucuses but sometimes both parties are brought back together to come to a settlement agreement.
If an agreement is reached during mediation, the mediator generally creates a written summary of the agreement for each side to sign.
If an agreement isn’t reached, another attempt at mediation may be planned or negotiations may continue by phone. If further attempts at mediation fail, the dispute may be brought to trial.
What Types of Disputes Can Mediation Resolve?
Mediation can be used to solve many different types of disputes in Longview. Through mediation, it may be possible to avoid a trial, which can help save time and money.
Some common types of disputes that may be resolved through mediation include:
- Real estate disputes
- Personal injury cases
- Small business dispute
- Breach of contract issues
- Child custody
- Divorce disputes
- Will and estate disputes
- Other disputes related to family law
Schedule a Consultation
If you have an unresolved dispute that may be headed to trial, mediation may be able to help. Please call our Longview, TX law firm at (903) 297-8929 to schedule a consultation and learn more about the mediation process.