Some mysteries are minor like: Why do socks disappear in the dryer and why does time move slower as you approach home after a long trip? However, there are mysteries that affect some of your most important decisions. For example, people may have heard the word ‘mediation’ but have no idea what it is or how it is used. Could mediation help you? As we take the mystery out of mediation, you may be surprised at the things you learn.

What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

As the name implies, it’s one of several methods used to settle legal disagreements as an alternative to going to trial.

Where Does Mediation Fit In?

The three main forms of alternative dispute resolution are negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Generally, mediation is more formal than simple negotiations and less formal than arbitration. Mediations can be voluntary or court-ordered. In fact, parties may choose to mediate before or after filing a lawsuit.

Who Runs the Mediation?

The mediator is an impartial third party. In other words, the mediator is not one of the parties involved in the disagreement.

During the mediation, the mediator meets with the parties and their attorneys. Typically, everyone meets together for the initial session, then the parties each split out into separate rooms. The mediator moves between the groups facilitating an agreement. Because he or she has no ‘dog in the hunt,’ it’s easier to view the parties’ concerns objectively and unemotionally.

How Does a Mediation End?

Mediation typically is not legally binding except as agreed by the parties. Unlike a judge, the mediator does not hand down a decision or prepare an order telling the parties what to do.

As for the resolution of the disagreement, mediation may lead to a settlement agreement. If no agreement is reached, however, the parties may continue to litigate their case, schedule another mediation session, or move on to arbitration.

Why Use Mediation to Solve a Legal Problem?

By avoiding a prolonged court battle, you can save money and time. Wouldn’t you rather spend your time enjoying life instead of sitting in a courtroom?

Attorney Bruce Adams is an Alabama attorney who knows how to listen to his client’s legal concerns and provide actionable advice. He also offers mediation services. Please contact Bruce at 256-237-3339 to set up an appointment. Our office is located in Anniston, Alabama, but we assist clients in surrounding Calhoun, Cleburne, Etowah, and St. Clair Counties.