Question and Answer


How Does a Mediator Resolve Personal Injury Cases?
Personal injury cases often center around the concept of negligence. The plaintiff must show that the defendant owed him or her a duty, breached that duty and caused damages as a result of that breach. These cases often involve complex legal issues, like how the claim is affected if more than one party’s negligence contributed to the accident. It can also be difficult to accurately assess damages. A mediator can explain how local courts have ruled on similar issues. This can help the parties have a more realistic view of their case. The mediator can also communicate information back and forth between the parties and encourage them to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Why Should I Mediate My Boat Accident Case?
In boat accident cases, it may be unclear who had the right-of-way or how one of the parties was negligent. In some instances, there may be multiple parties who contributed to the accident. If you were a passenger on a friend’s boat and were injured, you may feel uncomfortable about suing your friend for the damages you sustained. Mediation is a voluntary non-adversarial process. The parties work together to reach an agreement. The process is private and confidential, so anything said during this process cannot later be repeated in court if the parties do not reach a settlement.

What Are the Benefits of Mediating Attorneys’ Fees Disputes?
As an attorney, your reputation is everything. Even if you know that you acted in an ethical manner and provided clear information to your client, getting bad reviews from the client or the publicity of a court case can often be more damaging to you than the amount of unpaid fees. In mediation, you can structure an agreement in which the client might agree to remove a negative review or work on a payment plan so that you can get all that you are owed – without having the unwanted publicity of a court case.

What Are Alternative Solutions in Commercial Foreclosure Cases?
Commercial tenants may wind up having trouble paying on their mortgage, which can cause the commercial foreclosure process to begin. However, there are alternatives to foreclosure when a commercial tenant gets behind on payments. The parties may agree to mediate the case in order to brainstorm solutions, such as modifying the loan, providing a temporary period of reprieve or subleasing a portion of the space. These and other creative ideas may help prevent the expensive and time-consuming foreclosure process.

What Are the Goals of Spousal Support in Mediation?
Spousal support is one of the most contentious aspects of family law. The parties may have very distinct interests and opinions about alimony. Alimony cases are often complex because the state uses many factors when determining whether to award spousal support, in what amount and for what duration. The judge has wide discretion in these cases. In mediation, the goal is to determine a fair amount of support that serves the needs of the parties. By reaching their own agreement, the parties can avoid the unpredictability of having a judge decide this issue.

What Are the Key Features of Mediating Palimony Cases?
In palimony mediation cases, the parties explain their position regarding whether support should be provided and their rationale for this issue. They may then divide into separate spaces where they meet with the mediator one-on-one. The mediator can share recent results in local courts that involved similar issues. This gives the parties a better understanding of the potential outcome if they continue to litigate their case. Information sharing is an important feature in palimony cases because the parties may not have a good understanding of the court’s treatment of this issue in the local jurisdiction. Brainstorming solutions such as considering arrangements that can help a spouse become more self-supporting is also a key feature of mediating these cases.

Why Do Paternity Disputes Arise and How Can They Be Resolved?
Paternity disputes often arise when a single person has a child. The father may believe that the mother was involved with another person when the pregnancy occurred and may want to ensure that he is the father before taking on a more committed role in the child’s life. For unmarried fathers, it is necessary to first establish paternity before being able to have rights to visitation or custody with the child. Paternity disputes can also arise with married couples if the mother had an extramarital affair or the couple was separated at the time of conception. If a husband does not establish paternity, the state may presume that he is the biological father even if it is later discovered that he is not. Parties can resolve these issues privately through mediation.

What Are the Benefits of Mediation in Resolving Art Disputes?
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process that helps resolve disputes outside the court system. A neutral third party assists the parties by facilitating discussions and helping them negotiate a fair resolution. Mediation has been used for decades to resolve cultural heritage and art disputes. It provides privacy to the parties and control of the outcome. It is more cost-effective than litigation because the costs of mediation can be split between the parties and saves the parties time. Binding mediation agreements can incorporate solutions not available through the court system, like future trading agreements.

When Should I Mediate a Probate Matter?
Probate matters are often fueled by emotion when the grief of losing a loved one is combined with feelings of uncertainty, frustration or anger regarding how end-of-life decisions or distribution of property were handled. Mediation is appropriate when all of the relevant parties are willing to negotiate a compromise, want to preserve family relationships and protect the family’s privacy. It is best to initiate the mediation process as early in the case as possible in order to achieve these objectives.

What Can I Do to Prepare for Human Rights Mediation?
If you will be involved in human rights mediation, it is important that you prepare ahead of time. Mediation often successfully resolves disputes, so this may be the last day or period of your case. This means that it is important to be prepared for your case, as prepared as you would be if you took the case to court. Have all of your evidence readily available so that you can show your position. Any videos, pictures, witness statements or other pieces of evidence should be ready to show the mediator and the other party. Also, be ready with possible ideas for resolution of the case.