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Today for ABA Mediation Week 2014, we asked a few of our neutrals, “What do you think is most valuable about mediation?” Their answers emphasize how mediation offers parties much more control over the process and outcome of their dispute than in litigation.  It also offers parties the opportunity to be fully heard.

Hon. Jerome Orbach, (Ret.) replied that mediation removes the uncertainty of going to court.  In trial, the parties have little control over the process and result of their dispute.  They may not have the opportunity to present their full story, and even if they do, it is possible that the jury may not be really listening.  Mediation is confidential and not subject to the rules of evidence.  Thus, the process offers parties more opportunity to ‘get [things] off their chest’ and be fully heard.  Being able to present their side of the story allows parties more control and offers them a chance to air their anxieties and concerns in a confidential, comfortable setting.

Hon. James Sullivan, (Ret.) replied that mediation does more than just render a verdict.  In litigation, certain aspects of parties’ stories may not be admissible in court, which can make parties feel as though they have not been able to tell their side of the story and that the process is not entirely fair.  Mediation, on the other hand, grants parties more control over the outcome of their dispute by allowing them to paint the full picture of their case to the mediator.  According to the Judge, having this opportunity often gives parties a better sense of closure.

For Judge Orbach’s bio, please click here.

For Judge Sullivan’s bio, please click here.

To learn more about Mediation Week, click here.

ADR Systems, It’s Settled.

My mediation at ADR Systems proved to be extremely successful, thanks to the professionalism of our mediator.  Judge Kelley adeptly settled a very complex case involving serious injuries.  His patience, knowledge of the case, and considerate treatment of the parties involved all contributed to reaching a settlement that both sides found acceptable.  Kudos to Judge Kelley and ADR Systems for an experience I hope soon to repeat.

Thomas P Cernek, Esq.Law Offices of Thomas P. Cernek & Associates