The lawyers of Grazi and Gianino have substantial experience providing expert and comprehensive mediation services. Our Stuart, FL law firm brings years of representation and trial experience to businesses and individuals involved in simple and complex business, family, and real estate law litigation and we routinely advise clients and mediate disputing parties as to related matters. If you or your company is in need of mediation services in Stuart, FL or Martin County, Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie or St. Lucie County, Vero Beach or Indian River County, Okeechobee or Okeechobee County, West Palm Beach or Palm Beach County, or surrounding areas, please call the Stuart, Florida lawyers of Grazi & Gianino now at (772) 286-0200.
Mediation, in the legal sense, is one form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It’s a way to resolve disputes between two or more parties. Typically, the mediator is a third party attorney who assists the disputing parties to negotiate a settlement between them.
Mediation has structure, a timetable, and dynamics that “ordinary” negotiation lacks. The mediation process is private and confidential, and for legal matters, is enforced by law.
Mediators generally open or improve dialogue between disputing parties, aiming to help those parties reach a settlement agreement. The mediator’s skill and training are critical to the success of mediation. Mediators attend specialized training programs, and hold special certifications and licensing.
The benefits of mediation include:
- Cost—As an attorney themselves, a mediator will normally charge a fee comparable to that of any attorney. However, the mediation process generally takes much less time than moving a case through the standard legal process. While a case in the hands of a court may take months or years to resolve, mediation usually achieves a resolution in a matter of hours. Taking less time means saving money on hourly fees and costs.
- Confidentiality—Court hearings are public, but mediations remain strictly confidential. Confidentiality in mediation is such that in most cases the legal system cannot force a mediator to testify in court as to the content or progress of a mediation. The only exceptions to such strict confidentiality usually involve child abuse or actual or threatened criminal acts.
- Control—Mediation increases the control the parties have over the resolution. In a court case, the parties obtain a resolution as determined by a judge or jury. A judge or jury cannot legally provide many of the solutions that emerge in mediation. Accordingly, mediation is more likely to produce a result that is mutually agreeable for the parties.
- Compliance—Because the result is attained by the parties working together and is mutually agreeable, compliance with the mediated agreement is usually high. This further reduces costs, because the parties do not have to employ an attorney to force compliance with the agreement. The mediated agreement is, however, fully enforceable in a court of law.
- Mutuality—Often, parties to a mediation are ready to work together for a mutual resolution. In most circumstances the mere fact that parties are willing to mediate means that they are ready to “move” their position. The parties thus are more amenable to understanding the other party’s side and work on underlying issues to the dispute. This has the added benefit of often preserving the relationship the parties had before the dispute.
- Support—Mediators are trained in working with difficult situations. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator and guides the parties through the process. The mediator helps the parties think “outside of the box” for possible solutions to the dispute, broadening the range of possible solutions.