Reduce the expense of litigation while achieving desirable results with mediation.

Answering the one question test below could save you money and lead to a better result in your business, commercial,  or other civil lawsuit.  No advance studying is required.

How would you prefer to resolve your legal matter?

A)   Efficiently and privately, reaching a workable result for both sides.

B)    Litigate for many years, spend a small fortune, and live with an outcome handed down by someone else that you may not like at all.

C)   Rock, paper, scissors

Our Massachusetts mediators and settlement attorneys can help you either way, but we think the best answer is clearly “A.”

Civil Mediation – It’s Not Just for Divorce

Many people think mediation is mostly for divorcing couples, but it is used for many types of civil cases.  If you are looking for info about divorce and family law mediation, just click here to visit that page, and more content is available on our blog. In the mediation process, both sides help craft the resolution in a private setting.  A neutral third person, or sometimes a panel of neutrals,  helps the adverse parties develop solutions to their dispute.  In the context of real estate, business, and employment conflicts, a mediator helps those involved better understand each other’s interests and motivations while identifying areas of common interests to help facilitate a lasting agreement.

Unlike appearing in a public courtroom, mediation is confidential and flexible.  The participants remain in control, and the process is much less adversarial than a stressful court-based process and trial.  Mediation is more cost-effective than taking your dispute to trial. Since the parties control the outcome, mediation typically results in agreements that are honored and encompass each side’s long-term interests more effectively than a court order, which may not work out well for anyone.

Perhaps most importantly in the business context, mediation is not a win-lose proposition. Therefore, mediation is an excellent way to resolve disputes between parties who wish to work together or will be required to co-exist in the future.

Interested in more information about mediation?  Our attorney/mediators are effective and experienced professionals and provide options ranging from fixed-fee mediations to hourly engagements. Remember that in Massachusetts, almost anyone can be a mediator, despite their background and experience; so select your mediator carefully. Many people tell us they are surprised to learn that a mediator does not have to be a lawyer.

Mediation – Arbitration

Mediation – Arbitration is just what it sounds like – a blend of mediation and arbitration.  This combination allows parties to first try mediation to resolve issues.  Should a full agreement not be reached after making a sincere effort, then the parties agree to have the mediator change roles and issue what is generally a binding decision on any unresolved matters.

Benefits of a Mediation-Arbitration Process

With a “med-arb” process, the parties agree in advance that if you should get stuck on one or more issues in mediation (impasse), that the mediator will be appointed as an arbitrator, who will then make a binding decision on the unresolved portions of the conflict.

This model of alternative dispute resolution differs from straight mediation, where the mediator does not impose or suggest what course of action on the participants. Assuming both parties agree to be bound by the arbitrator’s decision, arbitration has the benefit of finality.  Arbitration decisions can only be challenged under narrow circumstances such as fraud or the arbitrator’s refusal to consider material evidence, whereas court decisions may be appealed for errors in law or fact.

Civil Collaborative Law Process

The collaborative model differs from mediation but is another form of dispute resolution worth considering. With the collaborative model of dispute resolution, the parties hire trained collaborative attorneys and everyone commits to reaching an out of court resolution.  Information is shared, and a series of settlement meetings are held to work through the issues in a supportive and less-adversarial way.  Frequently, a neutral coach is part of the team to help facilitate the meetings.

If you have a civil & commercial mediation legal matter, whether it relates to business, employment, the conflict between heirs, issues relating to the administration of an estate, consumer issue, or something else, then contact the experienced mediators in Norfolk, MA at Next Phase Legal LLC.

Mediator and mediation services for civil disputes, commercial & civil mediation, civil collaborative law in the Medfield, Westwood, Franklin, Wellesley, Needham, Medway,  Dover, Millis, Medway, Sherborn, Wayland, Weston, Norfolk, Walpole, Wrentham, and Dedham, Canton areas.

To read more about civil actions and litigation, click here.