Using mediation in a legal case: What you need to know

Articles,Firm News On Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Learn more about mediation and how it works in a legal setting. Find out how it could help you handle a legal matter.

Mediation may be an option in some legal cases. Parties commonly use it in real estate, business and personal injury. A person may decide to use mediation rather than go into a courtroom and have a judge hear the case. There are many reasons why a person may choose mediation and a mediator over heading to court.

Why should someone consider using mediation?

In mediation, the case does not go before a judge. Instead the parties meet with a mediator, who is a neutral third party. This person assists with the process of discussing the case and the preferred outcome. The State of Connecticut Judicial Branch explains that many people choose to go this route because it usually costs less, is less formal than the courtroom, usually takes less time than going to court and gives the parties more control over the outcome of the case.

Are mediation and arbitration the same?

Mediation and arbitration are often talked about together because they are both forms of alternative dispute resolution, which just means they are alternatives to heading to a courtroom in front of a judge. They are somewhat similar, but arbitration uses an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators who listen to case and decide what happens. In mediation, it is the parties involved who work together to reach an outcome with a mediator who serves only as a guide and does not make any decisions about the case.

What cases is it used for?

People can use mediation in a variety of cases. It is not used in criminal law, but almost any civil case can go to mediation. This includes personal injury cases and estate cases. The state has specific mediation programs for foreclosures and landlord-tenant disputes.

What happens during mediation?

The American Bar Association explains that when parties choose to undergo mediation, the process usually begins with a meeting. The parties and the mediator sit down together, and the mediator explains the process and the rules. Then each party usually gets to present his or her case. The process then moves into negotiations. The mediator oversees the negotiations and assists when needed to keep things moving along. The goal is to reach an agreement on damages and other actions.

Mediation can be a great option in many legal situations. It is well worth considering. If you want to learn more about this process, contact Loughlin FitzGerald, P.C.

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