What You May Not Know About Early Stages Of Legal Mediation


Dealing with a business lawsuit is certainly a hassle that nobody wants as part of their day. You may wish you could just make it disappear. Unfortunately, it won't poof into thin air by wishing alone. However, through the process of civil litigation, you can take action to get rid of it. Start by consulting a business attorney, who may then get the court to recommend mediation. Here are some things you may not know about each stage of legal mediation, which may be ordered by a court of law to encourage a mutual understanding and a way to settle the situation outside the courtroom. 

People Who Will Be Involved

A lot of people assume that private mediation will just include both parties and an impartial mediator. However, the truth is more complex. People who will be in legal mediation for a business will likely include:

  • Plaintiff
  • Defendant
  • At least two attorneys (your own and any attorneys the other disputant has)
  • Mediator

Keep in mind that, in some situations, it may be decided that the lawyers shouldn't be present, but they usually are.

The Opening Statement

When the mediation begins, all parties will meet in a private conference room. It is the mediator who first has a voice, and the mediator will give an opening statement that typically expresses the benefits of mediation. Since you have already started the process, you may already know the perks, but it will benefit you to listen closely to this speech. You can tell a lot then about the mediator and what you may be expected to do. Some of the most beneficial reasons for you to strive to have the mediation come to a successful conclusion may be voiced, including the following:

  • The mediation is your last chance to solve the problem at hand outside the courtroom.
  • The control that you and your adversary (both the plaintiff and the defendant) will have during mediation. It's in both of your hands at this point, but it won't be if things go past mediation. In that case, your fate in this matter will be determined by a judge or jury.

Settle the Case

In the next step of mediation, the mediator will want to meet with both you and the other party separately and privately. Your attorney may accompany you in this meeting in most cases. Possible paths to settling the dispute amicably and to the satisfaction of both parties will be discussed.

While you may not want to agree to the immediate terms that are offered, try to be open ad reasonable during this process. If either party is unable to negotiate or be flexible on the points, it will end up in court. You both may end up unhappy if it does this, and it will be too late to go back to the negotiating table. Follow all the advice of your business lawyer and be proactive during the mediation.

Finally, keep in mind that understanding these ins and outs mediation can empower you to make better decisions. Ultimately, it's important to consult with your business attorney before making any definite decisions about settling the case in the mediation process. 


23 December 2015

Incorporating a Business: Why It Matters

Starting a home business is a great idea, but never think that it should not be incorporated. As I learned the hard way, working with an attorney to set up the business properly offers a lot of protections. I figured no one would want to bother with me and my little operation. As things began to take off, a copycat business sporting the same name and a slightly altered logo popped up on the scene. The copycat was able to nab some of my hard-earned business and left me out in the cold. It took help from a business attorney to protect my brand and get things back on track. If you think it's okay to wait until later to legally structure your operation, think again. Let me tell you more about what I should have done early on and why. Listen closely and I'll save you some grief.