Mediation is the process of settling a legal dispute outside of court with the help of an impartial third party. This technique is often used to resolve cases such as small business disputes, divorce, custody and child access, estate, trust, and employment. Mummert Law offers mediation services in Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan area as part of our comprehensive legal practice; our experienced mediator are here to support you during dispute resolution so both parties can come to a satisfactory agreement.
Benefits of Mediation
This process can offer several benefits over litigating a dispute in court. Mediation is a less expensive and faster way to settle many types of disputes. Between 90-98% of all civil cases settle outside of Court. Court cases take time to initiate, and may become long and complicated, while the cost of legal representation is higher than the cost of mediation services. A litigated divorce case may take between 9 months to 15 months before a Judge resolves the issue. Additionally, the mediation process allows the parties involved to reach a final settlement on their own, rather than being forced into one by a court. Judges want to be fair and very few cases have a winner and a loser. Because the decision is agreed upon by both parties outside of a courtroom, it eliminates the process of appeals, which can prolong or overturn a resolution. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, the case can still be taken to court for final resolution.
What to Expect During Mediation
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution option that is a very different process from a court trial. A mediator is an impartial third party. The mediator does not decide the outcome of the meeting or who is right and wrong. Rather, he will guide you through the process to help both parties find a resolution. If you’d like to find out more about mediation near Baltimore, please contact Mummert Law at (410) 766-1100 to speak with the office.
- The mediation process takes place in a less formal setting than a court. Typically, mediation is performed in a law office conference room or other meeting facility.
- Your mediator will ask you to present a short statement describing the issue in your own words. You will be able to speak freely without interruption to state your viewpoint on the situation.
- After both parties have given a statement, the mediator may ask questions to understand both sides perspective betters. Through this process, the mediator will help the parties identify the key issues that require resolution. The mediator will guide the parties through the process to reach resolution. Mediators cannot provide legal advice. Rather, he will simply ensure you understand all of your options so both parties can reach a resolution that addresses all your concerns. You can and should have an attorney available to answer legal questions and review any documents that are signed.
- In some cases, your mediator may also meet with both parties in what is known as caucusing. Sometimes a party does not feel comfortable saying something in front of the other party. Also, the mediator may want to speak with the both parties individually to understand his/her perspective and help guide them through the process. Speaking to a mediator privately does not make one side right or wrong, but is just a tool to help the parties reach a resolution. The dispute will only be resolved when all parties reach a settlement and sign an agreement.