What is Mediation?
What is mediation and when would you use a mediator? Mediation occurs when two disputing parties decide to use an impartial, non-plaintiff, non-defendant, trained legal mediator (a neutral party) to settle their legal differences outside of a courtroom.
Mediation is used when you try to resolve an issue using a neutral third party. The benefit to both sides is that a trained mediator works impartially to try to help the parties resolve legal and other problems. Legal issues can be settled amicably through decisions and options presented during the mediation process.
Bloodworth Law, PLLC, Of Counsel attorney, Kimberly Lorenz, is a Supreme Court Certified Circuit and County Florida Mediator.
What’s the Difference Between a Mediator and a Lawyer?
A lawyer is an advocate, while a mediator is neutral.
A lawyer is a hired gun who represents your position, and your position only.
A mediator is a neutral person who knows nothing about the cases. A mediator listens to both sides or all sides depending on how many parties are involved and how many different perspectives there are.
A mediator helps all parties try to resolve some, all, or none of the issues.
Why Hire a Mediator vs. an Attorney?
Most people don’t understand that mediation is always an option, as opposed to hiring an attorney. And often it can be the cheapest option because you do not need a lawyer or have to go to court to go to mediation.
Here’s How Mediation Works
You bring in somebody — a mediator — who doesn’t know anything about the situation. Each side tells their position and then, in a safe confidential environment, we go through the options. We go through the issues and see what can be resolved.
Locations include conference rooms in neutral, quiet locations such as hotels, conference centers, office buildings, or courthouses.
Multiple Parties Can Hire a Mediator
You do not need to be in litigation to go to mediation. You can mediate any legal issue at any time — with or without a lawyer. You do not need a lawyer to go to mediation. Two people, three people, or five people, however many are in the dispute, can hire a mediator to help them with their issues.
What Kind of Cases Are Mediated?
Mediation can happen at any time for any kind of legal dispute. It can be an employment dispute between you and one of your employees. It can be business partners. Between shareholders and partners. It can be a business and a vendor, or a vendor and a supplier.
Something is going sideways legally and you want to nip it in the bud and reach a settlement agreement. If you do reach that settlement agreement, that becomes a new and binding contract from which you can move forward.
Mediation is Underutilized
Mediation is a really underutilized opportunity for businesses. Businesses may want to consider using mediation because by the time you get to litigation, tempers are on fire, and people are more stoked.
Mediation vs. Litigation?
What is the difference, and should you choose mediation over litigation? In litigation, everyone digs in a little bit more because money has been spent. You’ve hired the lawyers. Everybody’s there to fight.
Mediation is really meant to come in and resolve the issues and end the fighting and the bleeding before things go too far. Many times mediation happens in the middle of litigation. Courts will order parties to mediation. But mediation can happen at any point.
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation gives you that opportunity to say, “well, what can you do? What are you able to do? What do you want to do?” It puts the power in the party’s hands. That’s the difference.
When you go to a court, you go to a judge or a jury. You’re saying, “tell me legally who’s right and who’s wrong under the law?” You have no say in the outcome.
At mediation it’s not a matter of right or wrong, it’s about what you can do. What do you want to do? And you keep that control as the party and you ultimately make the choice.
You make the decision as to what goes on and happens next in your life, in your job, in your business, and in whatever decision is there before you.
You Can’t Switch to Mediation from Litigation
If Bloodworth Law is litigating a case, Bloodworth Law cannot act as the mediator on that case because we are already the attorneys and the advocate and a position has been taken.
How Long Does a Mediation Take?
A mediation can run from one hour to eight hours or more depending on how large a case is.
Recent Client Recoveries
- $750,000 In a trust dispute
- $510,000 In a business dispute
- $250,000 In a trust dispute
- $417,000 In a business dispute
- $385,000 In a trust dispute
- $723,000 In a business dispute
- $435,000 In a probate litigation
- $775,000 In a Legal Malpractice Dispute