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Mediation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Florida Mediation

For all of your concerns regarding mediation, a Florida mediation attorney can assist you and  provide you with answers. Contact the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A. to gather insight on this alternative method to dispute resolution.

What is the process of mediation?

Mediation is an alternative approach to dispute resolution. During the mediation process, opposing parties have the opportunity to meet regularly to discuss the issue at hand and work toward a solution. The proceedings are facilitated by a mediator. If you are interested in the mediation process, seek the experience and guidance of a mediation lawyer in Florida.

Is negotiation used in the mediation process?

Yes. In fact, all successful settlement agreements are often the product of thorough negotiations. Negotiation is a technique that allows parties to discuss issues, weigh pros and cons of varying solutions, and compromise so that all parties gain satisfaction. Negotiation is commonly employed during the mediation process.

What are the advantages of mediation?

Opting for mediation means that you do not have to go to court. Your attempt to reach a solution will involve a simpler process that is cost-effective, private and effective. Mediation is ideal for families and business partners who share strong history and/or bonds with each other. Court proceedings can be so complex that many times, opposing parties risk their relationships with each other. On the other hand, with mediation, parties are encouraged to speak openly and honestly about their feelings and experiences. The environment is not hostile, but rather, the environment is friendly. Family members and members of the business community are likely to encounter each other once more in the future. Mediation not only helps to seal these bonds, but prepares parties for ways to address and handle future conflicts that may emerge overtime.

What is the role does the mediator serve?

The mediator is the facilitator of mediation proceedings. He/she plays a minimal and neutral role in the mediation process. This means that the mediator is not allowed to be biased by favoring the needs of one party over another. Instead, the mediator serves to assist the parties with effectively addressing and discussing their issues. The mediator is not responsible for crafting, recommending or assigning an agreement to the parties.

Is it possible for my case to be mediated?

It may be possible. Visit a mediation law firm to discuss your case with an attorney in Central Florida. Mediation is often used for civil cases. It cannot be used in criminal cases. If you are considering mediation to reach a solution, you should be realistic and evaluate your goals and your relationship with the opposing party. If you and the opposing party are at odds on numerous factors and have a history of not agreeing with each other, mediation may not be the appropriate process for you. But, if you and the opposing party are able to be cooperative with each other, and if you value the relationship that you share with the opposing party, mediation can definitely work for you.

Do I need to hire a lawyer for mediation?

Hiring a lawyer will benefit you in numerous ways. You will be well-informed of your rights and negotiation techniques. You will be aggressively advocated for during mediation proceedings (if you choose to have an attorney represent you). You will understand what to expect during the mediation process and how to prevent yourself from being taken advantaged of. You will have someone to seek advice from.

How long will my mediation take?

We cannot accurately predict the length of your medication because every case and issue is different. Mediation typically lasts longer when opposing parties are unable to work together to reach an agreement. In addition, complex cases, such as high-asset divorces and business disputes involving multiple parties, may require a longer process.

At the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A. we have seen mediation last no longer than a couple of hours within the same day. In more extreme cases, mediation may take several weeks to a couple of months. Every case is different. What you can expect is mediation meetings that may last for two to three hours during each session.

What is the actual process of mediation?

During mediation proceedings, opposing parties meet regularly. They often bring documents and other information to discuss during these meetings. A mediator helps to facilitate the discussion between and among parties and only intervenes when it is absolutely necessary. During mediation sessions, hypothetical agreements are proposed and evaluated. Once the parties are able to reach an agreement that is fair and desirable for everyone, a document outlining the terms and conditions is drafted. At this point, the mediation process concludes.

How do I ensure that my mediation process is fair?

Ensure that your mediator is qualified and fair. You want a mediator that is well-versed in your issue. You should also opt for a mediator that does not have a conflict of interest with any of the parties involved. During or before the mediation process, be sure to speak with a Florida mediation lawyer for advice and strategies. You have rights during mediation and you have the responsibility and privilege of using them.

How can I locate a trustworthy mediator?

Find someone that specializes in the issue that you seek to solve. If your mediation focuses on divorce with young children, you will need a mediation law firm that is familiar with children’s issues. If your mediation focuses on complex construction claims, a mediator that understands contracts and the construction field as a whole is necessary. You always want to select your mediator wisely. Often, attorneys are able to recommend a trustworthy mediator to you.

Is mediation the same as arbitration?

No. Mediation and arbitration are both private meetings between opposing parties that avoid traditional court proceedings. However, while a mediator acts as a neutral third party that merely facilitates discussion of issues, an arbitrator’s role is similar to that of a judge. The arbitrator listens to the opposing parties, reviews the evidence, and determines the appropriate solution. The agreement that is reached during arbitration is what must be adhered to. Parties have no significant influence or involvement in the final settlement agreement during arbitration. This is not the case with mediation. If you are torn between the options of mediation and arbitration, visit our office to discuss how each method may present challenges and benefits for your case.

How may a mediator be selected or appointed?

Mediators are matched to cases. They may be selected or appointed by an agency, lawyer or court. They are typically assigned to cases involving issues that they are familiar with.

Is it possible to postpone my mediation conference after it has been scheduled?

Yes. This is one of the benefits of mediation. However, do not abuse this right. You should only postpone a mediation conference for an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance. Consistent delays may cause opposing parties to experience frustration and suspicion. These sort of feelings are unhealthy and may jeopardize your ability to reach a settlement within a reasonable timeframe.

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