Mediation: A More Productive Way To Reach An Agreement
If you do not wish to undergo the lengthy litigation process to reach a legal agreement or arrangement, mediation may be a good avenue for you to pursue. At Tournour Law, our attorney, Frank Tournour, is a court-approved and accredited mediator in New Jersey. Mr. Tournour and our legal team in East Brunswick can help you reach lasting legal agreements with less stress through mediation. We will work closely with you to find a solution that best meets your unique needs.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution in which an impartial third party helps disagreeing parties successfully come to a resolution that benefits everyone involved. The mediator is often a retired judge or private attorney who can help cover the same issues that would be decided in litigation.
Mediation can provide several benefits for the right types of cases. Mediation can help reach decisions regarding a wide range of legal issues, including:
- Business and civil arrangements
- Contract disputes
- Prenuptial agreements
- Custody agreements
- Visitation rights
- Annulment proceedings
- Spousal or child support
Mediation is often able to provide more productive meetings and quicker results than litigation. Mediation also allows all parties to focus on solutions and productive agreements that benefit everyone involved. As a result, mediation can lead to healthier, better-functioning relationships moving forward.
The Key Qualities Of Mediation
There are certain aspects of mediation that make it unique. All of these qualities are important for an effective and beneficial mediation session. At Tournour Law, our mediation process is:
- Voluntary: Mediation only works as long as all parties are there voluntarily. Any party can decide to discontinue the mediation process at any time for any reason.
- Collaborative: Mediation is most effective when everyone is motivated to work together. By collaborating as a group, we can solve complex issues and reach positive agreements.
- Controlled: With this type of dispute resolution, you are in control of the entire process. Each participant has the ability to veto any part of the agreement, so nothing can be imposed on you.
- Confidential: In general, all mediation discussions and materials are confidential and cannot be used in court. We can discuss the extent of and exceptions to mediation confidentiality with you before beginning the process.
- Informed: With mediation, you have the ability to incorporate expert information and advice into the decision-making process, allowing you to be as informed as possible during the process.
- Neutral: During the mediation process, the mediator is there to assist each party in achieving an equal and balanced agreement. Our mediators remain completely neutral and do not favor the interests of any one party over the other.
When all of these aspects exist during mediation, we can typically reach a satisfying and mutually beneficial agreement that resolves your issue.
Why Mediation Is Preferred Over Litigation
Mediation is often preferred over litigation because it can help both parties achieve an amicable resolution. Litigation can be a very long process that is both expensive and adversarial. A mediator can help separate parties gain more control rather than letting a judge decide how their lives will be affected.
When To Mediate
Mediation is most useful in situations where you wish to maintain a positive relationship with the other party after your case is resolved. Often, mediation is used for:
- Small claims
- Housing disagreements
- Family issues
- Disputes between neighbors
At Tournour Law, we offer mediation for most family law cases, including divorce. The best way to find out if mediation can help with your case is to schedule an appointment with our legal team. They can evaluate your case and recommend the best course of action for you.
When Mediation May Not Be Appropriate
In some cases, mediation may not be the best course of action. Examples include:
- If you feel strongly that the opposing party should be found guilty or admit guilt, litigation may be better suited to your goals.
- If you are seeking to establish a legal precedent that extends beyond your situation, mediation may not be ideal. Any agreements established in mediation do not bind other parties.
- If you are seeking a large award, you may wish to pursue a trial by jury, as mediation does not typically produce significant settlements.
Our team can review your unique case and help you determine how best to proceed. You may be better suited to another alternative dispute resolution technique, such as arbitration or a courtroom trial.
The Mediation Process
Mediation is significantly less formal than the traditional litigation process. However, there are still distinct steps to take. In most cases, mediation involves six stages.
- Step One: We accept your case, introduce everyone involved, and explain the goals and rules of the process.
- Step Two: Each party has an opportunity to explain what they believe the case is about in their own words. These opening statements help set the tone for the process.
- Step Three: Your mediator will open the floor to discuss the opening statements and begin developing solutions to resolve the case.
- Step Four: If necessary, you can set up private meetings to discuss the case one-on-one with your mediator.
- Step Five: During this final negotiation stage, you can begin to refine your final agreement.
- Step Six: The mediation process concludes.
When mediation is successful, it ends with an agreement. Our attorney, Frank Tournour, and the rest of our legal team can draw up an official mediation agreement and help you get it approved. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may need to attend a short hearing before a judge to ensure the agreement was reached fairly.
Contact The Firm To Learn More
The best way to find out if mediation can help with your case is to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation. Learn more about our mediation sessions by contacting our office online or calling 732-913-3634 today.