Law and mediation are separate fields, even though they share an interest in resolving disputes. Lawyers are trained in negotiating and advocating for one party, while mediators are trained in facilitating dispute resolution as a neutral third-party without involving legal processes.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a type of ADR where a neutral third-party facilitates communication between parties involved in a dispute. Mediators do not take a side or make a final decision but instead help both parties reach a mutually acceptable outcome. This process may be court-ordered, contractual, or voluntary. Mediators may offer suggestions or new information, but they do not provide legal advice. The primary goal is for both sides to reach a conclusion that satisfies everyone.
Pros and Cons of Using an Attorney for ADR
Attorney-Mediators are a small and growing profession, with a primary education in law and basic training in conflict resolution. They negotiate for their clients to achieve the most favorable outcome but may not address the emotions involved in the dispute. They can provide mediation services by obtaining a 40-hour mediation certificate in addition to their law degree.
Pros and Cons of Using a Mediator for ADR
Mediators act as neutral intermediaries to help parties reach a mutually acceptable compromise and facilitate communication. They have training and experience in ADR and aim to benefit both parties. Certified Mediators charge lower fees than Attorney-Mediators and listen to all sides without bias, considering new information without judgment, and offering encouragement. They remain impartial and avoid influencing discussions with personal opinions.
Facts about ADR
Disputes often arise due to non-legal issues, and parties seek to have their voices heard. ADR experts prioritize client needs, and mediators aim to facilitate communication and resolve disputes, while lawyers aim to win negotiations and may lead their clients to court. Impartial mediators earn respect by resolving the dispute without any vested interest in the outcome. Cost and legal fees must be considered when deciding between a mediator or attorney-mediator.
Mediators facilitate communication and provide tools for parties in a dispute to find their own solutions. This approach leads to greater compliance with agreements and preserves relationships. Mediation is a less expensive, quicker, and confidential alternative to litigation that provides clients with greater flexibility and control.
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