Mediation and arbitration have one thing in common. They both employ a neutral party as a facilitator. Usually they are experienced lawyers who, after years of representing people through the litigation process, have dedicated themselves to dispute resolution, (seeing how difficult litigation can be on clients) or retired judges with years of experience hearing these cases. The role of the neutral party in the two processes is quite different.

Mediation is an informal process where the parties express their legal positions in an effort to reach a compromise by mutual agreement. The mediator’s role is part facilitator, part devil’s advocate, and part sounding board. The mediator does not hold a trial, she/he does not rule on legal objections and she/he does not render an opinion on the merits or value of the case. The mediator, using his/her experience, tries to point out the strengths and weaknesses of a party’s position and/or case in an effort to cause the parties to more clearly evaluate their risk and/or probability of recovery. If the parties can come together and close the gap, the case is settled. If they do not come to an agreement, the case can proceed to towards trial. Neither side may use any statement made at mediation later on at trial. What is stated at mediation is confidential and stays at mediation.

If you have a dispute requiring the services of professional mediators or arbitrators, contact the Macon Mediation and Arbitration Law Firm of Reynolds, Horne & Survant today for the legal counsel that you need.

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