Why to Hire a Legal Mediation Attorney

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: July 6th, 2016 | Categories: Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer

Legal mediation is also called alternative dispute resolution because it represents an attempt by both parties to a legal dispute to reach a mutually agreeable solution without going through a court trial. Nearly any case involving a contract or a personal injury can be settled through mediation, and the approach is becoming more widely used in all areas of civil, business, and financial law.

Jones Law Group employs several mediation attorneys in Columbus and Delaware, Ohio. To help you understand why you may benefit from hiring one, we present the following answers to frequently asked questions about legal mediation.

What cases can be subject to legal mediation?

A partial list includes

  • Car accident injuries
  • Medical malpractice
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Wrongful death
  • Fraud
  • Debt
  • Land sales
  • Employment disputes
  • Wills and probate
  • Divorce
  • Child support
  • Property disputes
  • Landlord-tenant disputes
  • Nonviolent criminal offenses like theft

What outcomes are possible from legal mediation?

Three things can happen at a mediation hearing:

  • Both parties can agree to a solution that usually involves one party paying the other a settlement and/or refraining from doing the disputed activity in the future.
  • Both parties can agree to continue negotiations at a subsequent hearing.
  • Both parties can agree that no mutually acceptable resolution exists and that a lawsuit is needed to settle the matter.

How does the legal mediation process work?

Both parties must agree to try mediation, and a mediator presides over negotiations aimed at settling the dispute. A court must approval any mediated settlement, but no judge or jury hears evidence or makes a ruling in favor of one party. Also, no witnesses appear at the hearing. Experts’ analyses and opinions can be summarized by either party.

After agreeing to mediation, the parties share information related to the case. A lawyer can be especially helpful at this stage by processing paperwork and providing advice on how to figure out what the preferred outcome is, what information to request, and how to interpret and query the shared information.

A mediation hearing typically occurs in a private room at a county courthouse. Both sides are allowed to make opening statements before negotiating points of disagreement. In nearly all situations, the proceedings are confidential unless both parties agree to make the negotiations public.

Successful mediation hearings generally last one or two hours and end with the mediator accepting an agreement that both parties to the dispute declare they can live with. The agreement is formally written up following the hearing and then presented to the court as a final contract by which both parties must abide.

Is legal mediation always a voluntary process?

Signing a contract can require people to pursue mediation as a first option when disputes arise. Mandatory mediation is common for credit cards, employment agreements, and software purchases. Technically, you have volunteered to mediate a dispute before any problem has occurred.

How much does legal mediation cost?

Filing and administrative fees vary, and hiring a lawyer will cost extra. Generally, however, going to mediation saves money over going to court. Also, the legal mediation process almost always reaches a quicker conclusion than a lawsuit.

How can a mediation attorney help me?

As noted above, an Ohio mediation attorney can assist with gathering and deciphering information related to your dispute. Your lawyer will also help you calculate an adequate and acceptable financial outcome and draft settlement language.

During the mediation hearing, your legal advocate can make your opening statement and offer advice on whether to accept or reject proposals made by the other party. Should mediation prove unsuccessful, your attorney can help you prepare for court.

If you have additional questions or seek representation regarding a legal mediation, call Jones Law Group at (614) 545-9998 or contact us online.

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