Here are questions you need to ask about California attorney mediation services.
What are the mediator’s experience level and qualifications?
Mediators come from all facets of life and occupation. Some mediators had little background in legal matters before their training and certification, while others such as mediation attorneys are well-versed in legal issues. Ideally, you want a mediator with experience with your type of dispute. For instance, a divorce mediation lawyer may not be the best fit for a dispute regarding intellectual property infringement.
Can my case be mediated?
You should know that not all cases can be resolved with alternate dispute resolution. Most cases that go the alternative route are civil cases. Criminal cases end up in court. It is worthy to note that non-violent criminal cases like harassment can be resolved through mediation.
What is their approach?
There are several approaches to mediation, and this can affect your overall satisfaction and final outcome. Some mediators may have little input into the matter, while others may guide both parties to make the right decision. Ensure that the mediator chooses an approach (or a combination of approaches) that will best suit you and the nature of the dispute.
Can your attorney accompany you to meetings?
You may have to work with an attorney to get the best outcome during mediation. Your attorney will counsel you on the legal matters and possibly, financial implications of the decisions or suggestions made during mediation. The mediator should allow your attorney (if any) to be present during meetings.
What is the meeting schedule?
Both parties seeking mediation services in California need to be aware of the meeting schedule. Do you meet at regular intervals or need to make arrangements?
How long will it take?
Although mediation takes less time than the average court case, the process can drag on for weeks, depending on the severity of the dispute and the level of cooperation from both parties.
How much will it cost?
Community mediation services is a cost-effective alternate dispute resolution strategy, and you should ask about the price before the process begins. The costs for mediation depend on many factors such as your location, the nature of the case, the mediator’s experience and qualification, etc. Another thing to consider is how long the mediation would last. Mediators often charge hourly or per session and the longer the dispute takes, the more you will pay. While this sounds expensive, you should know that mediation is still significantly cheaper than court.