(618) 791-8491 kim@kimlkirnlaw.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Mediation?

A: Mediation is an informal way to resolve disputes, most especially legal disputes. It can be court ordered or voluntary. Voluntary mediation may take place before any lawsuit is filed or while the suit is pending in court. Usually, we meet in separate rooms and come together for a short “opening presentation by me as the mediator and by each side. The lawyers typically speak but many times the client will also join in on specific points. The remainder of the day is spent in separate rooms with me shuttling settlement ideas and dollar amounts back and forth. A private, confidential meeting between me, as the mediator, and each party is called a caucus. If a deal is reached, we sign a settlement agreement at the mediation.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Mediation?

A: Mediation is an informal way to resolve disputes, most especially legal disputes. It can be court ordered or voluntary. Voluntary mediation may take place before any lawsuit is filed or while the suit is pending in court. Usually, we meet in separate rooms and come together for a short “opening presentation by me as the mediator and by each side. The lawyers typically speak but many times the client will also join in on specific points. The remainder of the day is spent in separate rooms with me shuttling settlement ideas and dollar amounts back and forth. A private, confidential meeting between me, as the mediator, and each party is called a caucus. If a deal is reached, we sign a settlement agreement at the mediation.

 

How is Court ordered mediation different?

Court ordered mediation takes place after a lawsuit if filed and is ordered by the Judge with a report sent back to the court by the mediator. Many times, the mediator must report whether the parties showed up for the mediation and whether they negotiated in good faith. It is important that a decision-maker attend the mediation who has authority to settle the lawsuit.

Why does Mediation work?

Mediation allows the parties to create their own unique solutions, instead of taking the problem to an outside decision-maker and having that person’s solution imposed on them. I do not focus on who is right and who is wrong but rather I focus the parties on forward thinking and solving the problem. As the mediator, I help the parties communicate, make informed decisions by understanding and listening to each other, and work together to create options and acceptable solutions.

What happens if we do not settle?

We can continue to exchange settlement proposals via email or telephone if the parties want more time. If we truly reach impasse (no hope of settlement) the case proceeds with all the usual court deadlines and discovery and trial. There is no court sanction for failing to settle the case. However, some parties argue that mediating in “bad faith” should be sanctioned. So long as you show up to the mediation with a true decision-maker (someone with authority to make financial decisions) and an open mind to compromise, there should be no problem.

Why should I use Mediation?

While conflict is a natural part of our daily lives, unresolved disputes may become unproductive and negatively impact someone’s business or personal life. In these instances, mediation can save time and resources for all involved. Mediation can improve communication and prevent future misunderstandings. Mediation provides an opportunity to discuss sensitive issues and concerns in a private setting. Mediation helps the parties to look realistically at the best and worst case alternatives to resolving the dispute, and when possible, develop mutually satisfactory solutions.

Am I truly bound by what I agree to in mediation?

Yes, a signed settlement agreement reached in mediation is legally binding. You should agree with all provisions in any settlement agreement before you sign. Your lawyer can explain details to you and I encourage you to ask your lawyer during the mediation.

Who should be present during the Mediation?

The party and his or her lawyer. I do not recommend bringing others to the mediation.

How should I prepare for Mediation?

Think about what is important to you. Is this about money is it about retribution or is it about ego? Think about the opportunity cost of what being a litigant in a lawsuit will be to you. What are the lost hours of work lost hours of sleep? Be ready to listen to the views of others. Remember that the mediation is a chance to put the dispute behind you and move on with your life.

What should I bring with me?

A book, your laptop, a hobby like knitting or embroidery, a book of Sudoku. Do not show up with a mobile phone only and expect to sit in a conference room all day with nothing else to do.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothes but dress as if you are going to church or perhaps a funeral. Dress shows your level of respect for the dispute and the process itself.

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Additionally, I am available via Email at klkirn@gmail.com.

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