Mediation, Settlement Facilitation and Legal Counsel
I provide mediation and legal counsel in the following areas:
- Mediation - mediation of disputes arising in real estate, business, family law and will/trust/estate matters
- Settlement Facilitation - settlement conference evaluative process to promote resolution of some or all aspects of disputes currently in litigation
- Real Estate - commercial and residential real property transactions, liens, easements, landlord/tenant, homeowners' associations
- Business - contracts, licenses, trademark, debts and money due, breach of contract/warranty, construction, creation and maintenance of corporate entities, tort law
- Wills, Trusts and Probate - estate documents, probate matters, estate asset distribution
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a confidential process designed to allow the parties an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions about the facts and emotions at the heart of their dispute. This is done in a respectful environment facilitated by a trained mediator. Those who participate in mediation are encouraged to do so with civility, accountability and self-determination, offering their ideas to any agreements reached. Mediation as a method of alternative dispute resolution often provides parties with more palatable results than litigation. This is because each party contributes to and benefits from their own creative, practical solutions rather than leaving decision-making to the courts. In most instances, mediation provides participants with a realistic perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of their case. Mediation may take place with or without attorneys present, and may be scheduled by the parties directly or by an order of the court. Parties who mediate are under no obligation to resolve their differences at mediation. However, it can often resolve smaller issues thereby narrowing the scope of a dispute. Mediation has the added benefit of saving the parties time and money when compared to litigation. Mediation can be used for any type of disagreement - family members in conflict over probate distributions; couples trying to sort out the division of property, child custody arrangements and divorce; business partners in disagreement; to real estate transactions gone awry.
What is Settlement Facilitation?
Settlement facilitation is a confidential process, outside of court, by which the parties seek to have an attorney settlement facilitator hear the particulars of their dispute. The settlement facilitator gives her assessment as to the strengths and weakness of each position and likelihood of success in court. The goal of of settlement facilitation is to provide the parties with realistic evaluations of their case, resolve some or all of the matters at issue and guide the parties to achieve settlement out of court. Usually, but not always, the parties are represented by attorneys. The attorneys submit written position statements to the settlement facilitator prior to the scheduled conference. At the settlement conference, the parties and their attorneys meet with the settlement facilitator, often in separate rooms, to determine if settlement is possible and, if so, help them to negotiate the terms of settlement. This court alternative process winnows down the issues that may eventually be brought before the court, or resolves the matter completely. Many judges refer litigation cases to settlement facilitation to alleviate the court's docket, which saves the parties both time and money when compared to litigation.