The legal system exists to allow people to resolve disputes with the help of a judge. Unfortunately, the legal system is adversarial by definition. The plaintiff files a lawsuit against a defendant and both the plaintiff and the defendant make arguments regarding why their individual position should prevail. In some situations, the adversarial nature of the case does not matter because the plaintiff and defendant will have no ongoing future relationships and there are no other stakeholders involved. In other circumstances, however, the adversarial nature of litigation is troubling. For example, if two business partners become involved in a dispute, litigation may be the worst way to resolve the issue because the partners will need to continue working together.
There are alternatives to litigation that aim to be more cooperative to allow the parties to resolve their differences in an amicable way without turning to a judge. Mediation is one of these alternative methods of dispute resolution and it is commonly used to resolve disagreements that arise in divorce or disagreements that arise among business partners. When mediation is used to resolve a dispute, the role of the mediator must be understood by both parties involved in the process. Each party involved in mediation also must have his or her own legal counsel so that an experienced attorney can provide comprehensive advice. A San Diego alternative dispute resolution lawyer at Sepahi Law Group, APC can provide the necessary assistance to protect your rights throughout the mediation process. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.
Understanding the Role of the Mediator
The role of the mediator in the mediation process is to facilitate open, honest and productive communication among parties involved in a dispute. When the parties are not able to communicate on their own and resolve their differences, the mediator helps to ease the process.
A mediator is not a judge, and will not make a decision on a disagreement or force either party to do anything. A mediator cannot compel parties to mediation to cooperate, and cannot force witnesses to appear or evidence to be produced. A mediator does not take sides and does not advise any of the parties to the mediation about their rights or about whether an agreement is a good one for them or not.
Instead, the role of the mediator is exclusively and solely to help the parties work together to find their own solution to the problem. Mediators may have legal training, but they frequently also have training in social work, psychology or the behavioral sciences. They can help parties to communicate more clearly; to express their positions in appropriate terms; and to discover areas of compromise. Mediators can lead a discussion and help parties to distill their positions in a way that common ground can be formed.
Because the role of the mediator is limited to helping those in a disagreement to work out their own issues, all parties involved in mediation should have a lawyer who can explain their legal rights. Call today to speak with a San Diego mediation lawyer at Sepahi Law Group, APC if you believe mediation is the best approach to take to resolve your differences.