Mari J. Frank, Esq & Associates, Laguna Niguel, California Atorney and Meditor, Laguna Niguel, California
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Mediation Article

Keep lawsuits out of your Company's closet
People with problems, like
people with pain, want relief and they want it as quickly and inexpensively as possible -Justice Warren E. Burger
By Mari Frank

Conflict is a natural part of human interaction. But when those conflicts and misunderstandings become unmanageable, they can lead to stressful and expensive litigation.

That's why our business society must learn to cure conflicts for themselves. Enlisting the help of a mediator, especially one trained as an attorney, is an excellent way to avoid wasted time and money in the courtroom. The increasing use of mediators has shown the business community that business problems are not necessarily legal problems.

The mediator's role is to provide conflicting individuals with the tools, as well as the opportunity to reach a solution. By definition, a mediator remains neutral to gain the trust of all the parties involved. Unlike a judge who hands down a decision, the mediator guides the process as a neutral force and removes the judgmental role. Opposing parties no longer need to defend their past actions or present positions. The mediator can then help structure and facilitate the negotiations needed to bring the parties to a resolution.

The mediator helps the various parties understand their actual risks and liabilities-- something which becomes shrouded in anger or fear in a courtroom situation. A mediator transforms ineffective bargaining into settlement discussions where mutually-agreeable workable solutions are reached quickly and economically.

There are several advantages to mediation. For one, the parties retain control and have the power to form their own agreements. Their agreements become binding only after all parties concur in writing.

Other advantages include: privacy and confidentiality, flexibility in scheduling, informality, the opportunity to use neutral experts, and

reduced stress and conflict. Unlike the frustration caused by the inefficiency of litigation, mediation expedites settlement by focusing on problem solving.

It also explores positive options while clearing up distorted impressions and false assumptions.

This makes all parties much more realistic and interested in reaching a fair agreement.

The mediator inspires business owners and managers to develop creative solutions-- much in the same way that those individuals became successful business people in the first place. This is especially handy when dealing with such issues as breach of contract, wrongful termination, partnership dissolutions,  patent violations, sexual harassment and other types, of employment disputes.

The result? Mutual gain for all parties. Business reputations are protected and adversaries can once again do business free of the financial burden and constraints of a lawsuit. Instead of fighting in the the courtroom, they can flourish in the marketplace.

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