What is mediation?
One often hears the term mediation in connection with resolution of disputes which have already become lawsuits and, occasionally, before those lawsuits are filed. Mediation is a process by which a neutral third party called a Mediator hears a dispute between two or more parties and attempts to help the parties settle their dispute without judging the merits of the case. The term mediation is often confused with arbitration. Arbitration is another form of dispute resolution, conducted by a neutral, third-party Arbitrator, who renders a decision at the end of an evidentiary hearing.
What if mediation doesn’t settle my case?
In most states, what takes place in mediation is confidential. For example, in California, the mediator cannot be forced to testify at trial as to what was said in a mediation hearing. Any offers made during the mediation process, and any concessions made, are confidential if the case doesn't settle. Of course, certain limitations do exist in connection with protecting others from danger or imminent harm, or in connection with illegal activities. Parties to most disputes over money or negligent conduct generally are protected by confidentiality laws.
There is very little downside to mediation. Wouldn’t it feel great to resolve this conflict and move on with your life?
Mediate or litigate?
Ninety-five percent of cases filed in the California court system settle before trial. Some settle early; others settle on the eve of trial. The difference between the former and the latter is the amount of money and time a party will spend in getting from one point to the other. Depending on the type of case, the cost could range from hundreds to several thousands of dollars. Often, these litigation costs are not recovered at the time of settlement. Both parties bear the burdens of litigation costs and attorney’s fees.
Mediating before a lawsuit is filed enables the parties to present their case to a mutually selected neutral person before any money is spent on litigation. Many times, the simple process of telling one’s story to a neutral person willing to listen will take both parties a long way toward settlement. Stepping into the other party’s shoes, and considering the alternatives to a negotiated settlement, frequently will empower parties to craft their own resolution, with the help of Mediator Tracy C. Lemmon. The cost of mediating a case is minimal compared to the costs incurred through the life of a lawsuit.
"Tracy has been great at working together to the resolution of conflicts before they become problems and whatever conflict(s) may have existed before she has worked on the issue, she has been expert at helping to steer towards the best resolution. I would highly recommend Tracy to anyone looking for an attorney in her fields of expertise."
— Michael Davis (review on LinkedIn)
How do I start the mediation process?
If you have a dispute with another person or business that you want resolved, you can first propose to the other side to mediate the case. If you are uncomfortable with that option, then you can make the first call to the mediator, and ask the mediator to approach the other side with the invitation to mediate. A well-trained mediator like Tracy C. Lemmon can effectively maintain neutrality during this process. We will contact the other side to determine their willingness to mediate, at no cost to you. We are that confident that we can bring them to the table, and help both parties craft an appropriate resolution to their dispute.
What is the secret to a successful mediation?
The mediation process is as successful as the willingness of the parties to participate in good faith to reach a settlement. A good mediator will work with the parties until he or she determines that a settlement cannot be reached at that time. Parties who consider what they have learned during the mediation process often reach a settlement after the mediation meeting, in order to avoid going to trial, spending precious time and additional funds that may never be recovered.
Ms. Lemmon is known for her excellent follow-up of mediation cases that do not settle at the first round of mediation, but resolve after the parties take some time to consider the alternatives to a negotiated settlement.
Contact Tracy C. Lemmon about your employment or mediation concerns ➤