One thing I hear people ask when trying to settle a legal dispute is “Why hire a mediator if I already have a good lawyer who is supposed to be negotiating a settlement?” Good question. Legal fees can add up quickly and when faced with the prospect of having to hire a mediator as yet another professional to pay, most people stop to wonder if they are just paying two people to do the same job. Not really.
In trying to reach a settlement, both your lawyer and a mediator will have the same goal in mind –to help end to your litigation. Sometimes your lawyer will be able to craft an agreement for you that will be acceptable to the other party and your case can be resolved quickly without becoming too expensive. If that is the case, then there is no need for a mediator. But when a settlement seems to be too far out of reach, it can make good sense to give mediation a try because the techniques used in mediation will be different. Sometimes trying to take a different path can make all the difference. When I mediate, I have a whole “bag of tools” available which I cannot use when I have on my lawyer hat. As a lawyer, I am a zealous advocate for my client. As a mediator, I am neutral and just want to see both parties walk out with a sense of completion and satisfaction.
In mediation, you will have direct communication with the other party. This will be done in a controlled setting with the assistance of someone neutral who has experience and hopefully training. This cuts down on the expense of having everything go through two lawyers where you often have to wait to hear a response. If you are mediating your divorce, the direct communication skills you practiced in mediation may even be helpful afterwards which is great if you have kids together. And remember, the goal of mediation is to reach a settlement that both people can live with. If you come to an agreement on all issues, then there won’t be that much more to do in court which is a good ending for all.
If you are considering mediation, call O’Connor Cadiz law at 630 250-8813 to find out more. We do divorce and family mediation as well as generalized mediation of your disputes, both before going to court or if you are already in court and want a laser beam focus on particular issues.