Mediation is a process in which an impartial mediator helps people or entities resolve whatever conflict they are facing. It is a private, cooperative process in which the mediator works with the parties to help them find a way to end their dispute.
Mediation is a practical and relatively informal way for the parties to try to end their conflict. It does not require the significant technicalities of the courtroom. As a result, it is usually significantly less expensive than taking a case through litigation. It is also much quicker. It enables the parties to avoid not only the significant financial burdens of litigation, but also the emotional ones. It also allows the parties to minimize the damage that the adversarial legal process can cause.
A mediator’s role is very different from that of a judge or arbitrator. The latter have the power to force a decision onto the parties. A mediator, on the other hand, lacks that power. This is a tremendous benefit to the parties because it enables them to explore settlement options without the risk that they will be stuck with an unfavorable decision. In that process, the parties are able to have an open dialogue, which the mediator guides. It allows the parties to fully explore their interests and the reasons for their conflict, and seek creative solutions to end it.
All types of conflicts can be mediated, be they high-value business disputes or personal injury claims, emotionally fraught divorces, or even day-to-day annoyances such as a noisy neighbor. Given that Parnall Trust and Estate Law specializes in probate- and trust-related issues, that is where the firm concentrates its mediation services as well.
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Dave Parnall is a seasoned trusts and estates attorney who focuses on litigation, administration, and mediation. He fights hard for his clients, but also emphasizes alternative dispute resolution when appropriate. Mr. Parnall has taken numerous cases through trial and has substantial appellate experience.