10 Reasons to Consider Mediation
Not every legal problem needs to come wind up in court.
Often, the best solution for all parties is to come up with their own solution. However, this can be difficult to accomplish without help. Many lawsuits, whether they are family law or civil litigation matters, are about more than money. People bring their own set of beliefs and principles to the table. Coming to an agreement when these beliefs are in play can be very difficult to navigate.
Attorney fees are expensive.
In the heat of the moment, it is easy to forget that every angry letter a party instructs his/her attorney to write is answered by an angrier letter from the other side. Simple math is instructive: If two parties are each paying their attorneys $375 per hour (an average hourly rate in Ventura county), just one angry letter from each side, billed at three-quarters of an hour, will cost the parties a total of $562.50. When the letters start flying back and forth, one can almost hear the sound of dollars disappearing, usually for no good reason or result.
Attorney fees are not the only cost of litigation.
Just to file a case in Superior Court costs more than $400, per party. So, even before the attorney fees invoices start appearing, everyone has “anted up” for the privilege of allowing a Judge to make a decision that, possibly, neither party wants.
Some cases require experts to help prove a case.
In the family law arena, experts include psychologists, child custody evaluators and vocational evaluators, each at their own hourly rate. It is not uncommon for a child custody evaluation to cost $15,000 or more, plus the evaluator’s hourly rate to appear in court to testify. Experts in both family law and civil cases can include forensic accountants, appraisers and other professionals who, should a matter come to trial, will be absolutely essential for a party to successfully plead her/his case to the Judge or jury, with each professional billing at his/her hourly rate.
Taking a “hard line” is expensive and often not worth it.
When people have unlimited money and aren’t reluctant to spend it, they can afford to take “my way or the highway” positions. However, most people do not have such unlimited resources. For most of us, even if one “wins” in court, that win can, and often does, represent a net loss because of costs of litigation.
The other cost of litigation is the loss of control.
When one files a lawsuit in any legal arena, that person is saying, “I want someone to make a decision for me.” That may seem comforting, because someone else is going to do the hard work of figuring it all out. However, no matter how strong one believes his/her case is, the Judge’s decision can be against her/him. It stands to reason that at least half of people who go to litigation thinking that they have a “slam-dunk” case will be shocked and disappointed at the outcome.
Litigation costs a lot of time.
It is no secret our courts are crowded. No matter how important we may think our own case is, we have to wait in line. It is the rare civil court case that is resolved in less than a year, and the extremely rare family law matter that is resolved within two years. Parties who mediate make the own schedule. It is not uncommon for mediated matters to be resolved within a few weeks.
Mediation is confidential.
Settlement discussions during mediation are confidential cannot be disclosed in court. This allows the parties to talk freely to each other and with the mediator. This can often facilitate creative solutions.
Mediation can save money and time, give you control over your results and help you get back to your life.
For people who are able to sit together with the other party and a mediator, mediation can be a tremendous money-saver with equally large benefits. The results are yours; not handed down by a judge or jury.
Our initial consultation is always free
Please contact us at (805) 652-6941 and discuss with Russ or Michael whether mediation is a viable option for you. If you prefer continue on this page and send us details about your case for a free consultation.