The Importance of Choosing the Right Mediator During Litigation
Mediation is the agreeing of two parties to solving a legal issue such as a divorce or child support modification by the process of compromise. Each party is usually represented by their attorney, who helps the party look at all offers and consider if a compromise can be reached, and the issue solved. Reaching an agreement in mediation is less expensive than going to court, both in legal fees and court costs. Additionally, In mediation, the parties have control over the outcome of their litigation rather than a judge deciding for them. The mediation transcripts are private and cannot be read by the public, while court transcripts can be read by anyone going to the courthouse and requesting to see them. And, probably best of all, a mediation brings to a close the case in far less time than if the case goes to court. Most courts are backed up for months.
What role does a mediator play that makes it important to choose the right one? A mediator is a trained specialist licensed by the state to act as a helpful go-between between the parties. Mediators do not make decisions for the parties, nor do they tell the parties what they think they should do. Keeping order and emotional balance between the parties while encouraging compromise of the issues in question is the mediator’s job. In truth, it will be the attorney handling your litigation that will be choosing the mediator for your case. However, there are things you should know before you choose your attorney so you can ask a potential attorney question regarding the mediator he or she chooses. Here are some questions to consider:
- What attitude does the attorney have regarding mediation? Some attorneys like to prolong a case all the way to court as it means higher attorney bills. When you are choosing an attorney, you need to know their thoughts. In Florida, this is especially true when getting a divorce, as most Florida jurisdictions require mediation before a court date can be set.
- Is the mediator an attorney as well as a mediator? Someone who knows and understands the intimate workings of the laws of their state and has specific training as a mediator has an advantage over someone with just mediator qualifications.
- How many successful mediations has the mediator handled in the number of years of practice?
- What are the fees of the mediator in question? Make a comparison to other mediators in your area.
- Check with family and friends for their experiences. Word of mouth is often the best judge.
As pointed out above, having a successful mediator is a real plus during your litigation. It can be said that time, talent, and treasure will equally be served if the right mediator is chosen. If you live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough County in Florida or New York or Washington DC and are looking for a Family Law attorney, call Attorney Grant Gisondo. He not only knows and understands Family and Marital Law as a board-certified lawyer, he is also a Licensed Supreme Court Certified Civil Mediator. With over a decade of successful practice, Attorney Gisondo offers a free, initial, in-office consultation where you can ask questions about mediation and other general areas of concern. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9;00 AM to 5:30 PM and for new clients on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Please call his office at (561) 530-4568 for more information and to make an appointment.