Mediation & Arbitration



WHAT IS MEDIATION?

The goal of mediation is to use the assistance of a neutral third party to reach an agreement that meets the needs of both parties, without the financial and emotional cost of a court case.

A mediator provides legal information and guides discussions in an effort to resolve issues. The mediator does not represent either party and cannot provide legal advice. Mediation can occur with parties who are with or without attorney representation. If no attorneys are hired, the mediation process still requires the preparation of all court forms, which the mediator may help prepare.

Virtually any type of case can be mediated. The issues can include contracts, partnership dissolutions, divorce, workplace conflicts, personal injury, sexual harassment, landlord-tenant relationships, discrimination, collections, and more.

 

HOW DOES MEDIATION WORK?

In advance of any meeting, it is common for the parties to provide the mediator with documents describing the facts and issues of the case. Frequently, but not always, this information is also exchanged between the parties.

Depending on the relationships, all participants may meet initially with the mediator to discuss the case in general terms. The parties then go to separate rooms, and the mediator serves as liaison to develop consensus. Tapping personal experience and knowledge of the law, the mediator provides direct and honest analysis to assist the parties, which often involves assessing likely jury verdicts if the case were to go to trial.

Because the mediator is without authority to direct the parties, success depends heavily on the mediator’s persuasive abilities and the parties’ willingness to compromise.

 

 THE BENEFITS OF MEDIATION

  • You and the other party maintain more control over the resolution of your own problems
  • Disputes can be settled promptly. A mediation session can be scheduled as soon as everyone agrees to use mediation to resolve your disputes, even before a lawsuit is filed.
  • Costs can be significantly less than taking a case to court.
  • Can promote better relationships through cooperation, creative problem-solving, and improved communications.
  • Resolving the case cooperatively helps avoid further conflict and involvement of the children.
  • Parties are more likely to abide by agreements that they create themselves.
  • In most types of cases, settlement is entirely voluntary. If you cannot reach an agreement on all the issues, you still have the right to take your disputes before a judge.

 

Because of these advantages, many parties choose mediation to resolve a dispute instead of filing a lawsuit. Even when a lawsuit has been filed, mediation can be used before the parties’ positions harden and the lawsuit becomes costly. Mediation has been used to resolve disputes even after a trial, when the result is appealed.

 

SELECTING A MEDIATOR

Effective mediators often have extensive experience as trial lawyers for both plaintiffs and defendants. This experience gives each party a realistic assessment of their position and helps predict the outcome of a case, which typically moves it toward a resolution. It is also critical that a mediator is able to communicate easily with both parties and their attorneys (if they have attorneys), quickly evaluate information from each party, then determine key issues, strengths, and weaknesses.

Other characteristics of a skilled mediator include impartiality, objectivity, and the ability to be gentle, yet firm, when the situation warrants. These traits help the mediator handle confrontation and emotion, while guiding parties toward consensus.

Proven mediators can provide a long list of credible references to support their skills.

 

Why Choose Sacopulos, Johnson & Sacopulos?

Of all the mediation cases handled by Sacopulos, Johnson & Sacopulos, 95% are referred by outside attorneys. Why? Sacopulos, Johnson & Sacopulos attorneys have:

  • More than 25 years of individual experience as Indiana litigators
  • Experience representing insurance companies, business and industry, injured individuals, and both sides of a divorce
  • A reputation as being even-handed, objective, and forthright
  • The ability to empathize with plaintiffs while understanding that insurance companies must exercise sound business judgment
  • An understanding of the concerns and issues facing attorneys who represent clients

 

If you would like to find out more about what Sacopulos, Johnson & Sacopulos can do to help you, call our offices today at 812-238-2565 or Contact Us Today.