In litigation, the parties are practicing civilized warfare before a court of law and equity, in lieu of resorting to self-help or physical violence as a means to resolve disputes. However, due to the financial and emotional cost as well as volume of litigation, individuals and the courts are exploring Alternative Dispute Resolution/Consensual Dispute Resolution methods in lieu of litigation which may include mediation.
In mediation, a neutral professional facilitates communication between two (or more) parties in order to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement and thereby avoiding or resolving litigation. This can take place in a lawyer’s office, mediator’s office, or other safe neutral location such as a courthouse.
Since mediation is confidential, no writing prepared specifically for the purpose of or in course of or pursuant of mediation is admissible in any arbitration, administrative adjudication, civil action, or other non-criminal proceedings. Testimony of the mediator cannot be compelled, as the process is confidential. Likewise, all communications by and between participants in the course of mediation remain protected. The purpose of confidentiality is to allow the parties to be free and open in their communications. Sometimes, it is the motivation for the parties’ actions, rather than the actions themselves, that can be the focus of resolving the conflict.
No mediator nor anyone else may submit a report to a court or an adjudicative body and a court may not consider any report, assessment, evaluation, recommendation, or finding of any kind by a true mediator other than a report of status of settlement or non-settlement that is mandated by court rule or other law unless all parties expressly agree otherwise in writing. For rules regarding non-confidential mediation, see Evidence Code Section 1117.
Most mediations result in agreements, oral or written, partial or full. In reaching an agreement, the parties find middle ground, often resolve personal and legal issues, and have an opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings, and goals. Any written settlement agreement reached as a result of mediation, signed by the settling parties, which states it is admissible or enforceable or binding is admissible into evidence. Oral agreements are not admissible unless they expressly state that it is enforceable or binding or it is reduced to writing and signed by the parties within 72 hours. Talk to Attorney Rios today to learn more about the process of mediation in Diamond Bar, California.
Reaching a consensual agreement that settles your case is far superior to a court making a decision for you, taking the matter entirely out of your hands. When choosing a neutral mediator, be sure to work with someone who:
Creates an environment for settlement to occur.
Facilitates an agreement between the parties where the parties decide.
Provides a forum for each party to speak out about their concerns based on their individual shared interests.
Allow the parties to reach a consensus on major issues involving their legal and social circumstances.
Avoids the attack vs. counter-attack mindset of a protracted Litigated Case.
Allow the parties to set aside animosity and meet in a safe place based on mutual respect and allow each party to be able to maintain their individual dignity.
Mediation works for unrepresented litigants as well as those represented by counsel who by stipulation can be seen by the mediator with or without counsel.
If you are currently faced with protracted litigation, confused about the court process, or overwhelmed with forms and papers, consider mediation. It may help you:
Control the outcome
Mediation allows the parties to decide on the outcome and resolution rather than relying on the verdict and decision of a judge. Mediators use advanced techniques and skills to open and improve dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties develop a shared understanding of the conflict and work toward building a practical and lasting resolution. Find out if mediation is right for you by reaching out to Delilah Knox Rios, Attorney at Law, APLC. Attorney Rios serves families in Diamond Bar, California, as well as those in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties.