OVERLAND PARK FAMILY LAWYER TALKS ABOUT MEDIATION: WHAT IS IT AND HOW CAN IT HELP ME?
Hi, my name is Lauren Fields. I lead the Domestic Litigation team here at Roth Davies, LLC. Today I am going to discuss mediation. A mediator is a neutral third party who is hired to help the parties and their attorneys resolve their case. In most cases, mediators are attorneys themselves or even Judges or retired Judges. In many situations, a mediator will start with both parties in the same room with their attorneys and explain the goals of the mediation and the expectations. Then, the parties may separate into two separate rooms whereby the mediator caucuses between both rooms attempting to get the parties to reach an agreement. This is very effective as the mediator is able to see both sides of the story and can help piece together what is needed to finalize the case. After the mediator has caucused with both parties, typically both parties come back into the same room and the mediator gives suggestions and advice on what he or she believes would be an appropriate resolution. It is then up to the parties to come up with an agreement. Sometimes agreements can be signed at the actual mediation session. Unsuccessful mediation is not binding and whatever the mediator says isn’t the end all be all. Unsuccessful mediation is also confidential so the Judge does not know what was discussed unless you reach an agreement. However, if the parties are able to reach agreements in many cases, we are able to memorialize those agreements in writing or over recording at the mediator’s office or you can sign off on the agreements. This can be helpful in finalizing a case or pushing it towards finality - for example, you could mediate child related issues and have the assets and debts be addressed by the Judge. Mediation is also much cheaper than trial. If you have more questions about mediation, please feel free to reach out at (913) 451-9500. Thank you.