Disputes arise in our personal and business lives all the time. Fortunately, most disputes can be readily resolved through informal negotiation. Where to go on a vacation, for example, how much to pay for a new or used car, or the compensation accompanying a job offer all lend themselves to a conversation and resolution.
Other disputes may seem destined for a court battle. The parties may have stopped talking to one another and each side’s position may seem entirely unreasonable to the other. Litigation, however, is expensive and uncertain. Litigation means, among other things, that you—as a party to the dispute—are giving up your decision-making power and leaving it instead for a judge or (in rare cases) jury to decide. That is very risky.
Mediation, on the other hand, whether in avoidance of litigation or as potential resolution once already in litigation, is a process whereby a neutral third person called a mediator acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. It’s an informal and non-adversarial process with the objective of helping the parties to a dispute reach a mutually acceptable voluntary agreement.
In mediation, the decision-making authority remains with you, as opposed to litigation wherein the courts decide for or against you. A mediator does not have the authority to impose a resolution or adjudicate any aspect of a dispute. Mediation is a consensual process; even when mediation is ordered by a court, the parties decide the outcome (which may be to litigate or continuing litigating) and any party may end the mediation at any time.
If you are in a dispute, mediation may help you resolve the dispute without the need for protracted and expensive litigation, or if you are already in litigation, mediation may help you bring the uncertainty and expense of continued litigation to an end.
My role as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator is to reduce obstacles in communication, assist the parties in identifying issues, and exploring alternatives to facilitate voluntary agreements to resolve the dispute. Communications during the process are confidential, except where disclosure is required or permitted by law or where the parties agree otherwise.
Call me today and let’s discuss how I may assist you.
Condominium and Homeowners Association Disputes