A way to resolve disagreements without a judge or jury.
A way to reach agreement faster and with less expense than taking a battle all the way to the end.
A way to set the framework for future decisionmaking.
Most cases settle before trial. Why not sooner rather than later?
Mediation comes in many flavors, depending on the needs of the parties:
- It can be a facilitated negotiation that encourages practical decisionmaking.
- It can be a way for parties to reach beyond entrenched positions.
- It can be a way to slice through the complexities of a dispute.
- It can be a way to bring in elements of a business or personal relationship that may not be admissible in court, or to agree on elements of a resolution that are beyond the scope of a court's power.
- It can be a forum for examining credibility and uncertainty in even the strongest of cases.
- It can concern an entire case, or only a subset of issues (including discovery).
- It can be an opportunity for each side to present its story to a neutral party, while serving as a reminder that the court is waiting in the wings if the parties do not reach agreement.
Different kinds of cases call for different approaches and timetables. We work with mediation clients to find a process that is right for them.
The mediator is neutral. He does not judge the parties, or the facts, or the law. Arbitrators and judges make decisions about substance; mediators encourage the parties themselves to make decisions.
A judge may suggest mediation, or even order parties to speak with a mediator. Whether the parties reach an agreement is up to them, though, as are the terms of any agreement. At the end of the day, any agreement the parties reach in mediation is voluntary.
Please keep in mind that mediation is a confidential process. In most cases in Massachusetts, the backs and forths of settlement negotiations are privileged, too. Consult with counsel prior to mediation if you have a concern.
Our practice includes a variety of cases, such as:
- Business and commercial disputes, including landlord-tenant disputes and disputes between businesses and consumers
- Partnership Dispute and other “business divorce” cases
- Divorce and post-decree matters, including those involving family businesses
- Pro bono mediation for selected cases referred by litigators
Consider whether now is the time for mediation.