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Mediation is a fast, confidential and economical way to settle most disputes. It is a process by which parties submit their dispute to an informed neutral third party (the mediator) who works with them to reach a settlement.
What Types of Disputes can be Settled by Mediation?
- Condominium Associations / Owners
- Developers / Property Owners (Construction Defects)
- Buyers / Sellers (real estate, businesses, personal property)
- Real Estate Broker / Client / Agent
- Mortgage Broker / Client / Agent
- Homeowner Association / Management Company
- Employer / Employee (wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination)
- Landlord / Tenant
- Partners (formations, dissolutions)
- Debtor / Creditor
- Insurance Company / Insured
- Spouses (divorce, custody, support, visitation, prenuptial)
- Stock Broker / Client
- Neighbors (nuisance, property boundaries)
- Subcontractor / Contractor
- Franchisee / Franchisor
- Lawyer / Client (fee disputes, malpractice)
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
The most common advantages are that:
- The mediator, as a neutral third party, can view the dispute objectively and can assist the parties in exploring alternatives that they might not have considered on their own.
- Parties almost always save money by avoiding the need for legal counsel.
- Parties increase the possibility of continuing a relationship (if this is necessary or desired) with each other.
- Documents and testimony presented do not become part of the public record. In fact, discussions that are held are protected by the confidentiality imposed on the mediator and on the parties by Evidence Code Sections 1152 and 1152.5.
- The emotional stress that usually accompanies the more combative, drawn out process of litigation is eliminated.
- The possibility of an adverse court judgment is avoided.
Who are the Mediators?
EKC mediators are carefully selected attorneys and retired judges. Each mediator has received extensive training in alternative dispute resolution procedures and will be fully qualified to serve on the particular case.
Upon receiving a request for mediation services, an EKC administrator will appoint a qualified mediator to the case. The parties will then be provided with a resume of qualifications on the mediator. Since it is essential that the parties have complete confidence that the mediator is fully qualified and will be fair and impartial, EKC will replace any mediator not acceptable to any of the parties.
Are the Mediators Usually Successful?
Nationally, over 85% of mediations result in a settlement, thus avoiding litigation. Most importantly, since all parties consent to the final agreement, compliance exceeds 90%, far exceeding the results following litigation.
How Long Does it Take?
Mediation can be conducted in much less time than a lawsuit. EKC mediators are generally available during evenings and on weekends as well as during normal business hours. EKC will work with the parties to minimize the time required to reach a fair settlement. Generally, 5 to 8 hours are sufficient unless complex issues are involved.
Is Mediation Binding?
A mediator does not have the power to render a binding decision. The objective of mediation is for the mediator to assist the parties in agreeing to a settlement. Once the agreement is reduced to writing, it becomes enforceable.
What does Mediation Cost?
Much less than litigation because no lawyers are required and court costs are avoided. The cost of the EKC mediator will vary depending upon the mediator and is generally divided between the parties.
How do I get Started?
Contact EKC Mediation Services and we will promptly provide you with necessary information.