Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods, such as mediations and arbitrations, are frequently used in both the public and private sector as an alternative to going to trial. ADR methods are viewed as an expeditious and less costly way of resolving disputes.
Definition of mediation
Mediation is a less formal dispute resolution process where a trained neutral third party, called a mediator, acts as a facilitator between the parties. The mediator assists the parties in resolving their disputes through discussion and collaboration. Unlike judges who issue rulings and decisions, mediators generally guide parties through the mediation process and do not issue decisions. One of the primary goals of mediation is to have the parties arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution themselves.
Mediation can be voluntary, where parties choose to mediate their problems with a mediator hired from the private sector. Mediations can also be court-ordered by a judge.
Benefits of mediation
Mediation offers several advantages, including the following:
- Takes less time than litigation
- Less costly than litigation
- Mediations are confidential
- Mediations can address both legal and non-legal issues
- Parties arrive at a resolution on their own and not by a judge or jury
Additionally, since mediations can be voluntary, parties choosing to mediate their disputes enter the process with a willingness and openness to work out their problems. Since the parties are working together to reach an agreeable outcome, both parties are more likely to leave satisfied because they have agreed upon it. Parties who have reached their own agreement are more likely to comply with the terms of that agreement.
As with any process, there are some disadvantages. Mediation may not be the best alternative for highly contentious matters and extremely complex disputes involving multiple parties and issues. To learn whether mediation might be a viable alternative to trial in your legal dispute, consult an experienced Arkansas mediation attorney.
At Snellgrove, Langley, Culpepper, Williams & Mullally, we offer mediation services to clients. We represent clients in mediations, and we also serve as third-party neutrals in mediations. One of our attorneys, Todd D. Williams is a certified mediator with the Arkansas Circuit Courts. He received mediation training from the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission and has significant mediation experience. Mr. Williams also has extensive experience in commercial law, insurance defense, and family law.
There are several advantages to having a lawyer who is also a trained and certified mediator. An attorney-licensed mediator is better able to attain optimal resolutions in cases involving complicated legal issues, because an attorney/mediator understands the legal issues in dispute and can draw on years of experience to achieve the best result for the client.
Contact a mediation attorney in Jonesboro, Arkansas today
To discuss your case with and options with an experienced mediator and trial advocate, contact Snellgrove, Langley, Culpepper, Williams & Mullally for assistance.