Mediation for Litigants With Lawyers
Mediator Skilled in Resolving Disputes for People in Nashville and Beyond
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process. In most cases, it is less expensive than going to trial, and it is less acrimonious than going to trial. In this process, you may choose to be represented by an attorney. However, in mediation, your attorney will take a different role than in litigation. As a client, you will have more say in the process, and your attorney will advise and counsel you throughout it. Amanda Raye Thornton is a certified Nashville mediator who can guide litigants with lawyers to an acceptable resolution. She also can assist people who are going through the process pro se (without a lawyer).
Mediation for Litigants with Lawyers
Mediation is a voluntary settlement process that helps litigants resolve their disputes. It is an informal process in which a neutral party, known as a mediator, assists the parties in reaching a formal agreement. Through mediation, the parties can better identify the critical issues of the dispute, consider potential solutions, and clarify any murky areas in the dispute. Ideally, the parties will be able to negotiate a settlement with the mediator’s help.
Mediators are not judges and do not make decisions on your behalf. Instead, they facilitate conversation between the parties and stay impartial throughout the process. Using mediation can help litigants with lawyers understand how a judge may view their case, and it may help them understand problems with their version of the case that may present sticking points during trial.
Unlike ordinary litigation moving toward trial, which is highly adversarial, you are working a little more cooperatively with the other side in mediation to come to a resolution. If you have an attorney in mediation, he or she will help you make decisions about what to share with the mediator, and later the attorney will help you review the mediation agreement and any other documents prior to signing them. A mediator will help the parties in drafting the mediated agreement.
Each mediator has his or her own rules for how the mediation will be conducted. The rules relate to breaks, break-out sessions conducted with each side, and other issues that may be specific to the mediator. Usually, a Nashville mediator begins with an introduction that includes information about his or her rules for mediation sessions.
Under Tennessee law, most divorces must proceed through mediation, with certain exceptions. In many cases, the spouses have already separated by the time that they elect to proceed with a formal divorce. They may be communicating only through their attorneys. A neutral mediator can act as a bridge between the parties to facilitate a resolution with which both sides can live. Rule 31 defines mediation as an informal process whereby a neutral mediator holds discussions between people disputing an issue so that they can come to a mutually acceptable agreement on all the aspects of the issue that are disputed.
Attorneys are usually encouraged to come to Rule 31 mediations. In parenting or child custody battles, it is mandatory to go through a Rule 31 mediation.
Under Rule 31, any evidence of actions taken, information disclosed, or statements made during mediation is confidential to the degree that the parties have agreed, or to the degree that some other law or rule dictates it. The confidential information will be inadmissible to the same extent that actions and statements can be inadmissible under Tennessee Rule of Evidence 408. If the parties sign a written mediation agreement, it can be admitted to enforce their understanding.
Consult a Certified Mediator in the Nashville Area
If you wish to go to mediation or are ordered to go to mediation, you can enlist the services of Amanda Raye Thornton. Ms. Thornton serves as a mediator for disputes in Nashville and elsewhere in Davidson, Williamson, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Warren, and Wilson Counties. Call us at (615) 470-2222, or contact us via our online form to find out more about our services.
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