Mediation is an alternative way to settle disputes in which the parties meet along with a neutral party, the mediator, and attempt to settle the dispute. The mediator's role is to facilitate finding a settlement to the dispute. The case is not decided by the mediator and does not impose a settlement on the parties.
Mediation is often a very effective way to resolve a wide variety of legal disputes. Courts will sometimes require the parties to mediate, but the parties choose to agree to do so. The process of mediation allows each party to present their views to the other side. Typically parties will also meet separately with the mediator in privately held sessions called "caucuses". If the mediation proves to be successful and a settlement is agreed upon, it is confirmed with a written settlement agreement.
An important advantage of mediation is confidentiality. What is said during the mediation remains confidential and cannot legally be revealed outside of the mediation proceedings. However, when going to court, everything that is said or submitted in connection with the lawsuit is available to the public. There are special occasions where a judge can seal information from public exposure. So, regardless of your reasons, your mediation will be kept completely private, making the proceedings less stressful as well as less damaging to your reputation.
Mediation is also proven to be less expensive than in-court litigation. For example, a half day mediation may cost you as little as $500, while an in-court battle, when everything is taken into consideration, could cost you $50,000. Also, even parties involved in a lawsuit can decide to turn to mediation to resolve the dispute and leave the court system behind. In other words, mediation is always an available option for dispute resolution. Finally, studies have shown that agreements carried out in mediations are much more likely to be followed by the parties involved than a court ruling. In a mediation, the parties work together to find a solution that they both agree on together, so their input is taken into account when reaching a final agreement.
To develop a better understanding of the advantages to mediation, please read the section of our FAQ devoted to help you decide if mediation is the right solution for your legal dispute.
Paul D. Hermann has been a trained and certified mediator for over ten years and has successfully resolved numerous disputes by mediation and arbitration all over the state of Georgia. He specializes in disputes involving complex medical issues and pre-suit evaluations.
Our dedicated firm, located in downtown Atlanta is specialized in handling a large range of legal needs, including automobile accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home injury or death, medical device product liability, prescription drug liability, personal injury, mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, and professional negligence & breach of trust. We are proud to have served the state of Georgia for over 25 years.
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