Philip J. Byers– Here are some of the benefits of mediation:
- You can schedule your meetings with the mediator, when it is convenient for the two of you and the Mediator. The time interval, whether it is an hour or several hours, will be exclusively for the mediator to work only with the two of you, and your case.
- As a Certified Mediator, I encourage the parties to discuss their problems that they are having that prevent an overall settlement. I encourage the parties to propose their own solutions that would solve the problems. I encourage a procedure entitled “caucusing” during which I meet with each of the parties separately in order for me to understand in privacy what concerns each party has. Caucusing is only conducted if I have the permission of both parties, and I will not disclose what I have learned unless I am authorized by that to do so.
- Mediation can be less expensive than litigation. Mediation leads to a full discussion of any particular issue, both the dilemma and the proposed solution. I encourage both parties to employ his/her own attorneys to provide independent legal advice. While I am an attorney, when I mediate a problem, I am a facilitator, steering the discussion towards a solution without offering legal advice, but suggesting possible solutions and options. Providing legal advice is the job of the individual lawyers. I am barred by the Canon of Professional Ethics from representing parties who have adverse interests
- The Mediation Fees are shared by the parties to the mediation. They may be sharing the expense equally or not depending upon what the parties agree. For example, if one party makes significantly more money, the parties may agree to a disparate division of payment of the Mediator’s compensation.
- Mediation can lead to the preparation of a comprehensive settlement agreement. After the parties have come to a satisfactory endpoint, I can prepare a memorandum that contains the essence to which the parties have agreed, to be written in the form of a comprehensive binding agreement by one of the parties’ attorneys. That same agreement can be presented to the Court at a hearing during which the judge makes inquiry about whether or not the agreement was signed by each party free from coercion, and if each party believes that the agreement is fair and reasonable considering all of the circumstances.
- The Solution to your case as derived in Mediation can be creative. Typically a contested case heard by a judge will not have a creative outcome. Mediation can lead to solutions that a probate court judge must approve and be enforceable, but typically cannot be formulated by a judge hearing that case following trial.
Contact me if I can be of help to you.