Mediation Services in Kendall County and Kane County
What is Mediation?
Mediation is the process by which a neutral third party intervenes between two conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise. Mediation is an effective tool for resolving almost all civil (non-criminal) disputes.
Mediation provides disputing parties with the opportunity to identify and cope with divisive interpersonal issues not originally thought to be part of the dispute.
Types of Cases that I CAN MEDIATE?
Typical mediation cases often involve:
- Divorce settlements
- Child custody agreements
- Child support agreements
- Spousal Support/Alimony agreements
- Contractual disputes
- Landlord and tenant conflicts
- Employment disputes
- Mediation vs. Litigation
Litigation, or a court trial, is more expensive then mediation. This is usually because litigation must go through processes such as discovery to gather evidence and information about the case, a process which requires time and money. Mediation also leaves the outcome of the case in the hands of the disputing parties rather than waiting on the word of a judge or jury. As such, the parties are often able to fashion a solution a court might not able to make. Mediation is also a private process; the parties need not disclose information to the public unlike a public court file. Court trials, as a rule, must transcribe everything said onto the public record.
Mediation vs. Arbitration
A mediator normally has no authority to render a binding decision. It is up to the parties themselves with the mediator’s help to work informally toward a mutually satisfying agreement. In contrast, an arbitrator, acting as a judge, conducts a hearing between the parties and renders a legally binding decision. Arbitration, which has long been used to resolve commercial and labor disputes, resembles a court hearing with witnesses called and evidence taken. Mediation lacks many of the formalities that an arbitration or court setting requires.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation has a number of advantages. First and foremost the parties have the final say in any settlement. Unlike a court, the parties retain control. Going to trial places the decision in the hands of the court and neither party may walk away satisfied with the decision. Secondly, mediation is much more cost effective than litigation. A mediation can cost a small fraction of litigation and produce more favorable results for both parties. Finally, mediation saves both parties valuable time. Litigation can take months, if not years. With discovery, deposition, pretrial conferences and other procedural delays litigation can take a considerable amount of time. Mediation can often be completed in a few sessions. Many times mediation can be completed in just one session.
Additional Mediation Facts
- Mediation usually lasts a shorter time amount than a trial and can typically take anywhere from half a day to several weeks.
- Mediation is confidential and nothing said in mediation can be used in court if the process fails.
- Mediation is usually expeditious and cost-effective.
- Mediation is extremely useful in dealing with cases of a sensitive and personal nature, in which it is essential that trust and cooperation exist throughout the process.
Do I Need an Attorney to Participate in Mediation?
A trained and certified mediator like Attorney Colosimo can make the difference between and amicable settlement which saves both parties’ significant time and money or an absolute waste of time that will result in inevitable litigation. Without a trained mediator there really is no sense in attempting to mediate a dispute. However, private lawyers in the mediation process also sometimes represent the individual parties, especially if the case involves substantial property or legal rights. It might also be wise to consult with a lawyer prior to engaging in mediation so you can understand the issues in your case. Obviously, the private attorney representing either part cannot act as the mediator. Conversely, the mediator cannot then be retained by either party should the mediation fail.