Mediation is an option for settling legal disputes without expensive, time-consuming litigation. And since mediation is less adversarial, it also provides the option of preserving relationships.
The Supreme Court of Tennessee Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission (ADRC) has approved the Dover mediation lawyers at Batson Nolan PLC as Rule 31 Mediators in the field of general civil mediation.
We understand that it can be difficult to make sure your side is heard during any legal dispute. We are committed to the impartial representation of mediation clients to ensure that a satisfactory resolution is reached for each party.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a method of resolving disputes that places the outcome of the dispute in the hands of the parties involved—as opposed to a judge.
A mediator is an independent, neutral party hired to facilitate negotiations. The goal of mediation is to help all parties reach an agreement that makes sense for everyone involved. Reaching such an agreement preserves relationships and helps the parties avoid expensive and stressful litigation in court.
Benefits of Mediation
There are several reasons to mediate rather than choose other forms of dispute resolution. Here are some of the most common reasons people choose mediation.
- More favorable resolutions: When a case goes to trial, there is a winner and a loser. The purpose of mediation is to establish a favorable compromise that is beneficial for all parties involved.
- Greater confidentiality: Unlike in court proceedings, what happens in mediation does not become public information. This can provide peace of mind for both individuals and businesses that want to keep their disputes private.
- Convenient venue: The parties generally can agree on the location. This means they can choose a neutral location and avoid the stress of going to court.
- Cheaper than litigation: Filing a lawsuit and going to trial is an expensive process. Mediation is usually far less expensive.
- Faster outcomes: From your first discussion with a lawyer through court proceedings and possibly a trial, litigation requires many steps. Mediation may only take one session, or it may take several, but it is always less complex than going to court.
- Preservation of relationships: In many circumstances, mediation is the equivalent of “working it out,” which means that there is a better chance that you will be able to preserve the relationship.
In general, both parties have more control, making the whole dispute resolution process easier and less stressful.
What Is a Rule 31 Mediator?
The Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinic (ADRC) registers Rule 31 mediator attorneys. These mediators have completed specific continuing education requirements to achieve this certification. Areas of training include:
- Civil mediation,
- Family mediation, and
- Domestic violence training.
Batson Nolan PLC has Rule 31 Mediators in both civil and family mediation. Court mediators must be certified under Rule 31.
Is Mediation Voluntary or Court-Ordered?
In some situations, a judge may order parties to try mediation. This helps alleviate congested court dockets and often results in favorable outcomes for both parties.
Court-ordered mediation may not be productive if both parties aren’t committed to coming to a mutual agreement. If the parties fail to reach an agreement, they will end up going through standard litigation, and a judge will decide the case. Even though a judge may order mediation, it can also be something that both parties agree to pursue voluntarily.
Is Mediation Legally Binding?
Mediation only becomes legally binding when it is a part of legal proceedings. Once the parties reach an agreement, the mediator should write out the terms of the agreement in a legally enforceable contract.
The contract is then sent to the court and approved by a judge. If mediation is being conducted independently of a court of law, the agreement is informal. Just like any other business agreement, a contract agreed upon by both parties may be legally binding.
When Is Mediation Appropriate for Dispute Resolution?
There are a lot of situations where mediation is a great option for dispute resolution. For this to be true, everyone has to be willing to be reasonable and strive for the goal of coming up with an agreement.
Mediation is often used as an option when parties need or want to keep working together. Divorce mediation is desirable where children are involved. Parents may want to work together to preserve at least a moderately healthy relationship that is beneficial for their children. This may also be important in business relationships.
Mediation is not an appropriate solution if there is any risk that one party may be hiding financial information. Unlike litigation, you cannot subpoena evidence, and the parties do not take an oath to tell the truth. Our Dover mediation attorney understands the types of cases best suited for mediation. We can recommend whether or not this option is right for you.
Why Use Dover Mediation Attorneys?
Mediation can be a very effective form of alternative dispute resolution. Choosing the right mediator will give you the best chance of success throughout the process. Both parties benefit from having a trained and certified mediator who has meaningful experience facilitating similar disputes.
Not all mediators in Tennessee are attorneys. Many non-attorneys have a background in counseling, business, or other relevant fields. Though a mediator with this type of training may be valuable, there are distinct advantages to using mediator attorneys.
Successful mediation lawyers will have courtroom experience representing clients with similar legal disputes. This gives them the advantage of knowing where difficulties may arise in reaching a resolution. Along these same lines, mediation lawyers will have a fair idea of how a court might rule on an issue. This can help both parties make better decisions about active participation in mediation.
Our Dover mediation lawyer can also help draft final agreements and ensure they are enforceable as binding contracts.
Contact Our Dover Mediation Attorneys
When you are having a serious conflict and cannot come to a resolution, consider seeking help from mediation lawyers. At Batson Nolan PLC, our attorneys understand both sides and can help navigate the dispute so that each side is heard and an agreement can be reached.
Our experienced lawyers also handle clients with other types of cases, including:
We’ve been in business since 1860, and in that time, we have earned a stellar reputation in the Tennessee legal community. We are committed to continuing our tradition of excellence by providing excellent legal services and individualized, personal attention to all our clients. Contact us to learn more.