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What Is Mediation?

Put simply, mediation is a process where in impartial third party takes on the role of facilitator to encourage communication and negotiation. The mediator’s role is not to take sides but to offer guidance and help drive voluntary decision making by each of the parties in the dispute.

The mediator helps the parties understand each others’ perspectives and guides them toward a equitable conclusion making sure they are considering all options and keeping the focus on an agreeable resolution.

Mediation is effective in many situations and is often used to settle different types of cases. Contract disputes come to mind most often but mediation is often used in divorce or other family disputes, workplace/personnel issues, and in numerous other situations where litigation is pending.

Mediators do NOT decided who is right or who is wrong. They are there to guide the process to see a dispute settled so that each party is happy with the result. Parties can choose to go to mediation, sometimes a contract calls for mediation before trial and occasionally a judge will order mediation to try to seek a positive result without having a trial.  Mediation is less expensive than a trial so it is in the best interests of both parties (and the courts) to attempt a successful resolution through mediation.

The decision to settle always remains up to both parties and the mediator can’t impose a judgment, settlement or issue any verdict. The mediator’s job is to facilitate and help bring the matter to an agreeable conclusion.  During mediation, the mediator will meet with the parties individually (sometimes called a private caucus) and will meet with both parties together. If the mediator is meeting with one party for a longer time than another, it doesn’t mean the mediator has chosen sides. The mediator is just accessing the situation and attempting to find common ground and reach a successful solution.

Of course the “private caucus” is confidential. The mediator, like your lawyer, will keep what is said confidential.  In addition, anything said in a mediation session cannot be used later in the trial if the mediation is unsuccessful.  In addition, as part of the agreement, parties can draft a non-disclosure agreement to keep the issues discussed, the settlement or anything else about the case confidential. Always ask your lawyer to explain the confidential nature of any meeting you are involved in.

In most cases, the parties are allowed to select or participate in the selection of the person that will serve as the mediator in their case. Even if the court orders the mediation, the judge may give the parties the opportunity to participate in selecting their mediator.

Most attorneys have dealt with mediators in other cases and have a good idea who is good, fair, thoughtful and helpful.  Chances are, you came to this page because you have a need for a mediator and have heard of Mitnick and Associates.  If you are considering who to use in a mediation, Dan Mitnick is an experienced professional you can trust and count on to help you reach a positive solution.

Dan Mitnick has years of experience as a trial attorney and that wealth of knowledge gives him a unique perspective on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a case. Taking that knowledge and guiding opposing parties to an equitable resolution is a skill that sets Dan Mitnick apart. Dan is called upon to mediate complex cases, general civil cases, domestic violence and family law cases where child custody is the primary issue.

Dan Mitnick’s mediation skills are sought after by attorneys and litigants because of his ability to see the “big picture” and get the deal closed. He is fair, prepared and able to really listen to the needs of the various parties and help them achieve a resolution that works for everyone.

 

What To Look For In A Mediator

Consider what qualities in a mediator are most important in helping the parties resolve their dispute.  The following are typical:

Experience

You want to find a mediator that has experience similar to your issue.  If you are dealing with a custody dispute, a mediator with experience in family law is important. If it’s a contract issue, then business law experience is more relevant.  Every case is unique and that’s where Dan Mitnick excels. Dan recognizes what each side needs and works to find a solution that makes everyone happy.

Reputation

Everyone has a reputation. Some good; some bad. Dan Mitnick and Mitnick and Associates has a reputation for listening to everyone and finding the specific issues that matter and then helping guild the parties to a solution. Ask around and you will see, Dan is on everybody’s short list as a trusted mediator.

Training

Some mediators have taken a class or two and then attempt to solve problems. Those individuals create more problems than they solve. Dan has years of courtroom experience and training to help him work out a settlement that is fair to all parties.  Wouldn’t you prefer your mediator to be an attorney with a strong reputation like Dan?

Style

Some mediators prefer to work with all parties more of the time; some prefer to work with parties separately; and others are more of a hybrid. Some offer more suggestions and are willing to analyze the case’s strengths and weaknesses to help move the case to a resolution. Some refuse to offer ideas and rather just facilitate the parties. There is no perfect way to do a mediation but you have to be comfortable with the style of your mediator.

Cost

Everything costs money. But paying the highest amount doesn’t always guarantee the best results. Dan Mitnick is fairly priced but he doesn’t pride himself on being the cheapest mediator out there. He isn’t the most expensive either!  Call Mitnick and Associates for a free quote today.

 

Before mediation, consider if you want a lawyer with you to represent you during the process. If you don’t have a lawyer (or don’t want one) and you have questions about the process talk with the mediator.

Before you go into mediation, you might want to consider the following questions:

In your opinion, what is this conflict really about?

Can you consider the dispute from the other party’s point of view?

Are you willing to find middle ground?

What issues do you and the other party agree about?

What issues do you disagree about?

Have hurt feelings or egos caused any of the problems or made them worse?

What information or documents might cause the other party to change his or her mind?

What might cause you to change your mind?

Do you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case?

Are there objective standards both parties agree on that might help resolve the dispute?

What would you like to accomplish at the mediation?

What does the mediator need to understand to help you accomplish your goals?

What would you need to feel satisfied with the outcome?

What do you think that the other party needs to feel satisfied?

What is your best possible (realistic) alternative if you don’t reach agreement? What is your worst possible (realistic) alternative?

Is an agreement is better than the most likely alternatives?

Are you prepared to go to court?