Don’t Sue!! Try Mediation First

Should I take them to court? What are my options? Well, lawsuits have their place and function, but in some instances, such as on-going relationships, lawsuits is like trying to remove a fly from a person’s head with a hatchet. I am often asked what are the benefits of resolving a dispute through mediation versus traditional litigation. Here is a list of benefits that mediation can provide. It’s A Reality Check. Individuals, business, and organizations often use the tactic of playing deaf when you have a complaint, hoping that you will lose interest over time and go away. Mediation is the bridge between direct negotiation and the legal system. It lets the other side know that you are serious and that you want them to come voluntarily to the negotiating table while they still have a chance. By asking them to attend mediation, you are building them a golden bridge towards agreement and all they have to do is choose to walk across. It’s Safe. The legal system awards unfair and aggressive tactics, making the playing field unequal. In mediation, you are in complete control throughout the process. The mediator will not permit any unfair tactics, so the playing filed is equalized. Mediation is voluntary, so you always reserve the right to proceed with litigation if you want. It’s Affordable. Hiring an attorney can cost thousands of dollars for even a simple case, without a firm guarantee of proper resolution. Mediation provides an affordable alternative to costly litigation. It’s Fast. Lawsuits can take years off your life in waster time, frustration, money, and emotional pain. Mediation usually takes only a fraction of the time that the legal system takes. It’s Confidential. Cases handled in court are typically open to the public, so anyone can listen in on your private life. Confidentially in a mediation is protected by law, so you can resolve your dispute with privacy and with dignity. It’s Empowering. Traditional litigation is hostile, adversarial, and aggressive. It focuses on assigning blame and punishment. Mediation doesn’t assign blame or punishment—it seeks to invent solution to a mutual problem through cooperative problem-solving. It’s Emotionally Healthy. The legal system rarely takes the psychological or emotional factors of either party into account. Litigation is cold, hard, and uncaring. Both parties are instructed not to talk to each other and neither side gets to voice their concerns. Mediation uses the psychological power of empathy to create mutual understanding between parties to address concerns, promote emotional healing, and preserve ongoing relationships.

Getting Your First Job in Mediation

Getting your first job in mediation. Mediation in a incredibly satisfying career choice. However if you are not an experienced mediator then finding your first job can be hard. As a veteran in the conflict resolution field, I found it frustrating to see the barriers to entry that were stopping new mediators from entering the conflict resolution profession. Here I present my “how to” guide to getting your foot on the mediation career ladder… 1.Specialize, Specialize, Specialize The mediation field covers many areas. Being a successful mediator is all about Focusing in on one aspect on mediation. Do research in all areas of mediation before you decide which to specialise in. Popular mediation career choices include divorce, legal, family, corporate and conflict zone (diplomatic conflict resolution). Do plenty of research first, to discover which area of conflict resolution would suit you best as a career choice. Where you live could be a factor. Let’s say for example you live in a city that has loads of commercial mediators – all that competition mean that it would be a lot harder to break into. Last if you are steadfast in your desire to enter a certain segment of the conflict resolution market consider that you may have to be flexible in location and pay. 2.Know where to look A career in mediation in one full of competition – learn where to look to get a head start. If you’re only using generic job boards you will struggle to find a job. Being a mediator is not your average job – so you much find out where to look. The internet is the most useful tool you have. Learn where the best online communities are (Beyond Intractability and Conflict Gateway both offer regularly updated jobs boards). Remember not to abuse these resources – contribute to the community. Get involved with the online communities – you never know how you will meet. I once got offered the chance to go to Malaysia and mediate a crisis with local farmers purely off of making connections on an online mediation job board. 3.Work for free at first Qualifications are good but experience is king in mediation. It’s a bit of a chicken and eggs scenario getting your foot on the ladder. One of the easiest ways to do this is to offer your services for free. Many local councils in the US and UK offer volunteer mediation programs. These can be great first steps for getting your foot on the mediation ladder. You can also advertise your services for free on social media networks in Linkedin and on groups. Lastly many people find it hard to do this but sell yourself! Don’t be afraid to cold call companies or write a letter detailing your experiences and why you would be prepared to work as an apprentice to more experienced mediatorsIt may take a lot of enquiries but something will pay off. 4.Fellow mediators are a lovely breed Mediators are usually incredibly nice people! They will not mind if you ask them for a few tips. If you know the niche you want to go for then find some leaders in that field and give them a call or email – you never know where you conflict resolution could lead to! Don’t be afraid to ask for beginners tips, how to build a client base and how they got a big break in mediation. However remember you are not our to steal clients from them. Also please realise that why most mediators may be helpful to enquiries, this do not automatically mean they have become your mentor, and will guide you every step of the way. Ask first if you can go to them in future. 5.Know your qualifications Mediation qualifications can differ in quality from rubbish to superb. In the US and UK some requirements do exist but loopholes exist that allow a lot of unqualified mediators to practice. It is vital that you research courses before paying for them. Also understand that even if you have a Master’s degree in conflict resolution or dispute resolution you will likely still have to take an accredited course before you start getting realistic job offers. Look for courses that have a practical element. The best courses will coach you through 30-40 hours of practical mediation experience before they accredit you. These higher quality qualifications will set you on a successful career in mediation giving you experience and contacts.

Mediation And The Art Of War

Twenty-five decades ago, the most instrumental book on warfare was written. The author, Sun Tzu successfully conquered his enemies for decades using the tactics and principles he described in his book, The Art of War. Napoleon waged war on all of Europe only to be defeated when he strayed from the book’s principles, and even General Schwarzkopf seemed to find much of his basic strategy for the first Gulf War in the guide.

The Art of War
The book, penned by a general with tremendous knowledge and success is combat, is powerful and has proven itself many times over. What the Art of War is lacking, however, is the sort of morality and ethics we might look for in a general today. According to Sun Zu, the self-interest of the king and kingdom were most important and treachery and deceit were only two additional weapons to be used in the course of war as necessary.

When examined on this level, it would be easy to dismiss the book as a sound basis for legal practice today. After all, lawyers have a bad enough reputation without openly embracing deceit and treachery. But digging deeper into the book reveals that winning at all costs is not the message Sun Tzu was making. Indeed, according to the ancient general, “”[T]he true object of war is peace.”

Rapid Resolutions
He goes on to explain that when engaged in the battle, the goal of the general and army is to end the fray as quickly as possible. “In all history, there is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. Only one who knows the disastrous effects of a long war can realize the supreme importance of rapidly bringing it to a close.”

This rationale flies in the face of most legal proceedings today. Many lawyers drag battles on in the court room hoping to gain ground against the opposition. The longer the battle wages, however, the more harm comes to all parties. The goal of a battle is not to win at all costs; it is to win as quickly as possible in order to restore peace.

Modern Mediation
The practice of mediation is much like Sun Tzu’s version of battle. Sun Tzu emphasized preparing for battle by trying to avoid it. “To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

He also observes, “To begin by bluster, but afterward to take fright at the enemy’s numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence.”

In courthouses across America, lawyers are blustering on client’s behalf trying for the win, even against all odds. But as Tzu observes, when faced with an unconquerable enemy, success may entail minimizing your losses.

In employment mediation there is not a battle to the death. There is only the struggle between two parties to resolve the conflict quickly to reduce all costs both financial and emotional in pursuit of the final goal – restored peace.

Divorce On A Budget: Self Help Divorce, Attorney Consultations & Minimizing Costs

If you are like many, you may find the possibility of divorce to be overwhelming and unaffordable. In addition to being a stressful and emotional time in your life, a divorce can also be financially draining. There are a number of ways, however, that a self help divorce can be achieved through a combination of quality divorce advice from a licensed divorce attorney and cooperation from both your and your spouse.

As most divorce lawyers will tell you, the least expensive way to achieve a divorce is through an amicable settlement involving both parties. If you and your spouse can agree on child custody (if applicable), alimony, the division of assets and other important information relating to the divorce, you may be able to achieve satisfaction through divorce mediation. Because a neutral third-party individual presides over the matter, both you and your spouse will need to seek the help of a divorce attorney if preferred. Although not required, a divorce lawyer can offer important information throughout the mediation process, including your rights under the current divorce laws and advice on divorce that you may not otherwise consider. A divorce mediation is quicker and more affordable than a lengthy litigation process through divorce court. There are several instances in which divorce mediation may not be an option, including a marriage that has a history of abuse or when one spouse is fearful of the other.

If you prefer to file divorce papers independently after having researched your own self help divorce information, it may still be to your benefit to consult with a professional divorce lawyer. In many cases, divorce attorneys offer a free initial consultation. It is important to inquire about this policy prior to scheduling a meeting, however, as every divorce lawyer has his/her own guidelines when it comes to client meetings and/or telephone calls. If you are able to schedule a free or low-cost consultation, it may be well worth your time to speak with a professional who can offer valuable divorce advice on your case. Because divorce lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable about local divorce laws, you may find that the information gained is priceless. Even if you choose to proceed with filing the divorce papers yourself, having spoken with a divorce attorney may prove to be helpful in the future. This is especially true if a problem should arise within the case and you can then retain the services of that same attorney who is already familiar with your situation.

In most areas, legal aid is also available to help those who are financially strapped and still need help with legal issues. Because the litigation process through divorce court is both complex and lengthy, the legal fees can quickly add up. In some instances, a trial may be the only option. For those who can work together, settle their matters in a civilized and fair fashion and wish to minimize their expenses, consulting with a divorce lawyer about various options may be a good idea. Unless you have a very good understanding of local divorce laws and the legal process in general, filing your own divorce papers may be difficult. If nothing else, a divorce attorney can help you to get the appropriate papers completed and filed while offering professional divorce advice to help make this stressful time a little less painful for all involved.

The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional legal advice regarding divorce, child custody, alimony, self help divorce and/or divorce laws. If you are in need of divorce advice or are considering a marriage separation, consult with a professional divorce lawyer in your area for further information and/or divorce advice.

Square Trade

History & Description of the Service

In 2000, Square Trade launched a cutting edge service to help ebay buyers and sellers resolve disputes on the internet. With the growth of internet commerce, it had become widely recognized that buyers and sellers had no meaningful recourse for resolving disputes that arose from online transactions. Consumer advocacy groups decried the need to protect buyers from online fraud, and sellers on eBay begged from some mechanism to protect their online reputations, such as the feedback system at eBay, from being unfairly discredited. Square Trade launched its dispute resolution service in 2000, receiving its first dispute within 15 minutes of creating an active link from eBay. The mediation service quickly become the largest utilized dispute resolution worldwide, either offline or online.

Square Trade chose to provide mediation, which is a service that assists parties in reaching a negotiated settlement agreement. Mediation is completely voluntary; nobody is forced to participate. Mediation keeps the control with the parties, unlike other models of dispute resolution such as arbitration or a judge & jury. This type of resolution service works effectively because it keeps the parties in complete control of the process and avoids all of the legal jurisdictional quandaries with which the internet challenges legal scholars. Consumer groups were satisfied that buyers would maintain their rights and business advocates were pleased that sellers could be given a mechanism for protecting their reputations.

During Square Trade’s history its online dispute resolution service has been expanded to resolve a wide range of disputes beyond the world of ecommerce and eBay. For example, in significant numbers it handled service disputes for eLance, an online services marketplace, and offline real estate conflicts between buyers and sellers for the California Association of Realtors.

Square Trade’s network of online mediators draws from an international group of trained and highly experienced online mediators. To join Square Trade’s service, mediators are required to have had extensive offline mediation experience and to successfully complete Square Trade’s rigorous online training program. The flexibility and cutting edge nature of the work has encouraged most Square Trade mediators to remain committed to the work. All of the current network of Square Trade mediators have been working for Square Trade and handling eBay disputes for well over four years. This group brings sophisticated experience to both their mediation practice as well as understanding the nuances and complications of online mediation.

Does it Work?

Online dispute resolution has been shown to efficaciously resolve problems. Square Trade’s experience has shown that several factors enhance the likelihood that an online system will lead to successful resolution of the dispute.

First, parties will be much more likely to settle if they have enhanced reasons to participate, such as geographical distance rendering in person meetings costly or difficult, jurisdictional boundaries making legal systems more challenging to navigate, or structural incentives to participate such as consequences for failing to participate such as a contractual mediation clause or eBay’s feedback system.

Second, complex or emotionally charged situations will be more effectively resolved with the assistance of a skilled mediator who knows how to handle emotions in written communications, is aware of distinct cultural norms, and can leverage the mediation process and online technology to create meaningful opportunities for parties to express themselves and transition to resolution.

Third, a tailored online technology such as Square Trade’s can facilitate resolution. A clear and well designed intake form enables the parties to appropriately express themselves entering the mediation. A secure arena for participation also fosters crucial trust in the process and system.

Fourth, the disposition of the parties is crucial to a speedy resolution. Researchers from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University published a study of Square Trade’s dispute resolution service in the Academy of Management Journal that showed that parties were more likely to resolve a case when they focus on resolution and avoid expressions of anger. See “Emotions and Rationality in Mediation: Evidence from Electronically-Mediated Disputes”, Friedman, et. al. Jan. 2003, referenced here.

Square Trade’s ODR Service Today

Now in its eighth year of service, Square Trade has refined its mediation services to best meet the needs of eBay buyers and sellers. eBay users who have a dispute that includes a feedback issue may, for a small fee, file a case with Square Trade. The filer enters the relevant eBay item number and a brief description of the problem. Thereafter Square Trade’s system will obtain relevant details from eBay directly, and contact the other party to notify them of the dispute. Square Trade’s system and mediators handle the case according to rules and guidelines established by eBay for reviewing feedback disputes. Most cases are resolved within two weeks.

Mediation And The Art Of War

Twenty-five decades ago, the most instrumental book on warfare was written. The author, Sun Tzu successfully conquered his enemies for decades using the tactics and principles he described in his book, The Art of War. Napoleon waged war on all of Europe only to be defeated when he strayed from the book’s principles, and even General Schwarzkopf seemed to find much of his basic strategy for the first Gulf War in the guide.

The Art of War
The book, penned by a general with tremendous knowledge and success is combat, is powerful and has proven itself many times over. What the Art of War is lacking, however, is the sort of morality and ethics we might look for in a general today. According to Sun Zu, the self-interest of the king and kingdom were most important and treachery and deceit were only two additional weapons to be used in the course of war as necessary.

When examined on this level, it would be easy to dismiss the book as a sound basis for legal practice today. After all, lawyers have a bad enough reputation without openly embracing deceit and treachery. But digging deeper into the book reveals that winning at all costs is not the message Sun Tzu was making. Indeed, according to the ancient general, “”[T]he true object of war is peace.”

Rapid Resolutions
He goes on to explain that when engaged in the battle, the goal of the general and army is to end the fray as quickly as possible. “In all history, there is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. Only one who knows the disastrous effects of a long war can realize the supreme importance of rapidly bringing it to a close.”

This rationale flies in the face of most legal proceedings today. Many lawyers drag battles on in the court room hoping to gain ground against the opposition. The longer the battle wages, however, the more harm comes to all parties. The goal of a battle is not to win at all costs; it is to win as quickly as possible in order to restore peace.

Modern Mediation
The practice of mediation is much like Sun Tzu’s version of battle. Sun Tzu emphasized preparing for battle by trying to avoid it. “To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

He also observes, “To begin by bluster, but afterward to take fright at the enemy’s numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence.”

In courthouses across America, lawyers are blustering on client’s behalf trying for the win, even against all odds. But as Tzu observes, when faced with an unconquerable enemy, success may entail minimizing your losses.

In employment mediation there is not a battle to the death. There is only the struggle between two parties to resolve the conflict quickly to reduce all costs both financial and emotional in pursuit of the final goal – restored peace.

4 Signs You Need A Legal Nurse Consultant

There comes a time in every lawyer’s career who works on medical cases when he or she may need assistance with the case. A legal nursing consultant can be just the person. Here are 4 signs that you should hire one to help with your case:

1. Questioning Claims’ Merit
Before you even take a case, you need to know whether or not the claim has any merit. You need someone who can examine the case for fraud, abuse of Medicaid or Medicare, or potential misconduct. You don’t want to take a case only to figure out that your client’s claim was completely off base. Using a medical professional to review the case allows you to get an educated prospective, so you’ll know whether or not the case is worth your time and effort.

2. Understanding Medical Terminology
As you’re reviewing your client’s case, you’re going to run into medical terminology that you probably don’t know. How can you understand how the information pertains to your case if you don’t understand what is being said? A medical professional can interpret medical records and translate the terms for you. He or she can explain the diagnosis and treatment plan in a way that you understand. He or she can also complete research for you to find information that will build the case and help you determine the best way to proceed. Using this research, you can have the medical professional draft questions that you can ask during the trial and write reports that you can study to prepare for the case.

3. Requiring Medical Evidence
As you prepare to go to trial, you need to stack the deck in your direction. You need to have plenty of evidence to present to prove that your client’s claims are valid. You need to prepare a timeline of events, illustrations, and demonstrations. A medical professional can assist you with this using the research and personal experience and knowledge. He or she can also educate you on how to use these in court and explain it to the jury, so you can sound competent on the subject and build your credibility for the case. Your medical professional can also assist you with tracking down expert witnesses that can testify in court, and he or she can prepare them for trial so they will feel more comfortable on the stand.

4. Confused Clients
Is your client confused about the case? Does he or she understand what’s happening? If you’re unsure about medical terminology, it can be difficult to explain to someone else. A medical professional can interact with your client, helping him or her understand what’s going on throughout the legal process. Using this information, he or she can prepare your client for the deposition and trial. You’ll find that you can also get assistance during your preparation by preparing reports that you can refer to, so you feel comfortable moving forward. It would also be wise to have your medical professional attend the deposition, trial, mediation hearing, and other meetings. He or she will be able to explain anything that you and your client need clarification about, so you can make wise decisions in regards to the case.

When you notice one of these signs, you should hire a legal nursing consultant. Having someone on your team that has experience in the medical field, as well as the legal field will be an invaluable asset to help you prepare and win your case. Find someone who has the proper certification to ensure that he or she has the experience and training that you need to get the level of service that you expect to help you throughout your case.

Mediation – Family Mediation

Mediation is the most appropriate way of resolving family disputes that may have occurr after a separation or divorce. Through mediation former couples can gain help and advice to find their own solutions to their conflicts or disputes. Mediation in family disputes does not just function for for couples after separation or divorce, it helps with all kinds of family problems. These can include; a parent and child dispute; disagreements over care of elderly or terminally ill relatives; issues about grandparents contact with grandchildren; or homelessness that was caused by family disputes.

Both parties in the family dispute can explain their concerns and needs to each other whilst being witnessed by a fully qualified family mediator. Mediators are a neutral party, they are on nobodys side. Mediators are selected to be helpful to both parties of the conflict, unlike a solicitor who would work for the party that has employed them. If a case does not seem to be moving very fast, the mediator can suggest many ways of solving a problem to help the parties reach an agreement which would be seen as an acceptable option to both parties. Although, just to clarify, a mediator can never tell the parties what to do in any circumstance as the parties supposed to be the ones controlling the mediation.

The mediator will provide information about the law in relation to the family dispute. But, mediators are unable to provide advice about what to do to resolve the conflict, this should be entirely up to the parties. Before mediation is started, it would be advisableto contact a family solicitor to provide some general legal advice in relation to the dispute to give you a better idea about the law and what your rights are. A solicitor would be able to aid you during the mediation process, a fully qualified solicitor could be hired as a mediators advocate. This would mean that the solicitor can assist you before and inbetween sessions with the mediator. Once a settlement has been reached they would be giving you that peace of mind that the outcome is fair for both parties.

Mediation is a highly successful and positive approach to resolve disputes that may have been caused by a separation or any other family dispute. Mediation saves time and money as it allows the parties to reach a settlement outside of the courts, where a judge would decide the outcome. Family mediation mainly focuses on divorce cases, such as; grounds for a divorce and what will happen with the children, how the management of shared care of the children will be handled. Mediation will often help decide how the family assets will be divided, how financial support for family members will be arranged and managed.

Mediation – Employment Mediation

Mediators use their experience and professional communication skills during the mediation process to resolve a dispute in the most efficient manner. They aim to bring each party closer together in order to find a successful solution to the conflict at hand which will suite both parties. Once the mediation has concluded to a successful settlement, the terms of the agreement are documented, written and legally binding. They are then signed by both parties and the mediator. All of this usually occurs on the day of the mediation.

Once the agreement has been signed the dispute is then settled. This means that both parties in the dispute can continue with their business, which would include maintaining a relationship with each other if appropriate.

The role of the mediator is not to attempt to control and convince one party to accept the terms of the other party about the dispute. It is also not the mediator’s job to then order the terms of any settlement agreement. The mediators role is mainly to investigate with both parties of the conflict and discuss their views and opinions, and hopefully guide them towards a common interest resulting in a feasible solution.

Some disputes can be more personal or emotional, such as a family dispute that has requested mediation, it is the mediator’s job to then find a way to get past these emotions by creating appropriate conditions and environments that will encourage a constructive negotiation to take place. When an agreement has been reached by both parties, the mediator will work very quickly with both parties and their legal advisers to draft the final legally binding agreement for the parties to sign. This will then bring the dispute and any further court proceedings to a halt.

If an agreement cannot be reached by both parties by the end of the mediation day, the mediator will then outline with the parties the key factors that still need to be addressed for further negotiate in the future. The mediation process is meant to take place over one whole day with the sole purpose of an agreement being reached by the end it. However, more complex cases may need further days to resolve a dispute. If this is the case then the mediation will be able to continue through to the next day or the next possible date for both parties, their legal advisers and the mediator.

Mediation for Personal injury

the city of Denver, Colorado most personal injury cases never make it to courtroom. In other words, they settle before even getting in front of the judge. This tendency is understandable when you consider the difficulties involved in holding a legal action in court, from the financial costs to the extensive periods of time that are necessary to finalize a trial. In most cases, both parties are reluctant to take a personal injury claim to court, because they fear that the jury will rule against them. This is why many top Denver injury law firms advise their clients to accept participation in mediation.

Mediation is an alternative method of settling a personal injury dispute. The two sides accept the mediation of a third party, the mediator. The mediator can be someone appointed by the court or a professional accepted by the insurance company. Usually, mediators are former attorneys or judges who have extensive legal knowledge, which helps them to properly asses a personal injury claim case and advise the two parties on the best way to reach a compromise.

Mediations are less formal proceedings than trial appearances, but as a plaintiff involved in a personal injury case, you should coordinate with your Denver accident lawyer in order to be prepared for the mediation process.

Mediations can take place with the presence of the involved parties, represented by Denver injury law firms, or they can take place without an actual meeting between the two sides. In this case, the mediator will act as a liaison between your Denver injury lawyer and the lawyer of the defendant, carrying the demands and the responses between the two sides.

Mediations have the advantage of being cheaper and quicker than civil trials although complicated cases may require a long time to settle. The aim of the mediation procedure is to reach an agreement between the two sides, effectively creating a compromise between the demands of the plaintiff and the interests of the defendant. The mediator will make sure that the two sides accurately present their side of the story and provide arguments for their cause. If everything goes well and the two sides arrive at a compromise, the mediator records the result of the mediation, which becomes a legally binding document for the two parties.

Mediations are sometimes ordered by a judge, but this doesn’t mean that it is compulsory for the two parties to reach an agreement. You can always consult with your Denver accident lawyer if you should continue with the mediation or if you should take your case to the court. Nevertheless, you should always consider participating in mediation, even if you are sure that your case is strong enough to win a court trial.