Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is an alternative to the traditional trial setting. Often times, cases that have been presented to a Court, will be directed to a form of alternative dispute resolution by the Judge, to see if the parties can resolve the issue amongst themselves, before going through the massive undertaking of an actual trial. Personal injury cases often are solved in an alternative dispute resolution setting before an actual trial commences, in a setting such as mediation.
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary mediation can be defined as “the act or process of mediating; especially intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise.” In a legal setting, a mediation includes representatives from each side that will come together at a place or their choosing, or a place approved by the Court ordering the mediation. Each party will make a short presentation of their positions and then negotiating will begin, with a certified mediator overseeing the proceedings. Sometimes, parties all stay in one room and discuss the issues to try to arrive at a resolution. More traditionally though, each party and their representatives go into their own rooms and are separated. The mediator will then go back and forth between the two parties and their representatives to try to engineer a compromise that works for all.
What if we don’t agree?
Always remember, just because you are mediating, doesn’t mean you have to agree. If the terms of the resolution being presented are not up to par with your expectations, there is no obligation to agree just because you are at a mediation. Always make sure to speak with your attorney to make the best decision for your circumstance, but simply put, there is no obligation to agree when at a mediation. Mediation is only a tool to try to resolve the issue without an actual trial.
Is the outcome of mediation final?
If the parties are able to come to a resolution during the mediation process, the resolution will be submitted to the Court for approval. If the Court approves of the resolution the parties came too, the matter is considered resolved. At that time, the Court will enter the terms of the mediated agreement into the Court record and will enforce the terms as they were outlined by the involved parties.
It is important to always know your legal rights and be properly apprised of them in every situation. The attorneys at Herrman & Herrman PLLC are always on standby to help! Contact Herrman & Herrman PLLC, located at 1201 Third St., Corpus Christi, Texas 78404 or 801 E. Fern Ave., McAllen, Texas 78501. If you have any questions about a potential claim or would like to sit down for a consultation and discuss your issue, please contact us immediately. At Herrman & Herrman PLLC, we always strive to put our clients, first!
*This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to, and should not be construed as legal advice.