Viv Greene Attorneys is adept at inventive ways of resolving matters. Accordingly, we have attorneys who are accredited mediators, whose expertise and qualifications ensure success.
Mediation is enhanced negotiation and is a powerful dispute resolution strategy. It is not always well understood in South Africa, but stripped down, mediation may be defined as negotiations facilitated by a neutral third party, called the mediator, who helps the parties rediscover what triggered their dispute. Private mediation (as distinguished from court annexed mediation) provides a number of real benefits for attorneys and their clients. Mediation can facilitate disputing parties in arriving at an optimum solution through a speedy and cost-effective process. It should always be considered as one of the options in any dispute.
Who decides the outcome?
Control in mediation; the parties maintain control over how the dispute will be resolved. A mediator has no authority to impose a settlement. The parties must agree on the final outcome.
What is a mediator
A mediator, such as Viv Greene Attorneys, is a neutral third party who is selected by parties in dispute to help settle a dispute. The parties mutually select the mediator. A mediator does not need to be a lawyer but is often an expert in the field in which the parties are claiming a dispute
Who should consider mediation?
Mediation is appropriate when the parties are prepared to compromise and are motivated to reach a timely and mutually satisfactory agreement with the help of a neutral person, or where they plan to continue their relationship after their dispute has been resolved.
Who choose mediation
Mediation allows discussions to take place in a neutral environment, with an objective mediator, and often accomplishes more in a single session than months of meetings and exchanging correspondence. Mediation focuses more on the best interests of the parties than on their legal positions. By not dwelling on the different views of how the dispute arose, the parties are able to concentrate on creating a solution to it. The mediator will assist the parties in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of their case and discovering the underlying interests that are at the heart of the dispute.
Provided there is a common motivation to settle the dispute on a reasonable and timely basis, there is very little to lose and everything to gain by trying to mediate a resolution.
Difference between mediation and litigation?
Litigation is the process of going to court in order to solve a dispute. Going to court is usually a very costly and time-consuming process. The longer a dispute lasts, the more the parties pay in legal fees. Also, because litigation is heard by a judge and or jury it is considered a public matter and is open to the public. The judge and/or jury make the decision that resolves the dispute not the parties.
Mediation is a much quicker process than litigation. The parties also have more control over the final resolution. The parties mutually select the mediator and the mediator helps the parties resolve the dispute in a cost-efficient manner. For example, in the state of Michigan, employment dispute mediators are provided for free by the Bureau of Employment Relations (BER).
What is a mediation hearing?
Once parties in dispute agree on mediation, they select a mediator. The mediator will then conduct a mediation hearing. During a hearing, both parties may be brought together in order to work on an agreement or a mediator may use shuttle diplomacy. Shuttle diplomacy is a technique used by a mediator where s/he goes back and forth between parties with proposals in order to reach an agreement. If an agreement is made, the parties will sign a settlement agreement.
What is a settlement agreement?
As a result of the mediation process the parties may decide to resolve their dispute. The terms of agreement are listed in a settlement agreement and the written agreement is signed by the parties in dispute. Typically, the mediator facilitates the agreement but does not sign the agreement. The parties may agree that the agreement be made an order of court.
What if mediation fails?
If the mediation process fails and the disputing parties are not able to reach an agreement, the mediator declares the proceedings unsuccessful and the parties are free to pursue other legal remedies to their dispute, ie. Institute legal proceedings.