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Advantages of Mediation

The world of mediation can be a strange place for those expecting a more adversarial process. Rather than act on behalf of either party, the mediator plays a role in the middle, acting as a buffer between the parties to bring them together for mutual benefit. Just as with the conductor of an orchestra, the mediator is there not to create something herself, but to guide the others to do so. A mediator is not only a conductor or a referee, however, and the way a mediator works within the role can add significant value to a mediation.

Preparation

A good mediator prepares well in advance of the mediation, understanding the parties, the issues, the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments being put forth, as well as what may be key pieces of evidence that may change the course of the mediation. The mediator also works to make all parties feel comfortable with the process by making sure the mediation takes place in as inviting a setting as possible, fostering collaboration.

Perspective

A mediator brings a fresh set of eyes to a problem, adding a dose of third party perspective to a conflict with entrenched views and ideas. This can stimulate the mediation process by bringing renewed energy and optimism for a positive outcome. Mediators also should bring excellent communication skills and creativity to the mix as well, helping to shape the landscape throughout the process and map a route to a desirable outcome for all.

Patience

Patience may be a mediator’s strongest asset, bringing a calm persistence to what may be an emotionally-fraught proceeding. A patient mediator understands that both parties may already have expended an enormous amount of resources towards resolution of the dispute and are likely to be upset, but a resilient mediator helps all parties to stay on course and communicating. This is especially necessary through crucial areas of the dispute where tensions can run high. A mediator helps all parties by remaining patient and encouraging.

 A mediator’s role can be surprising, since a mediator is not there to advise the parties on the best course of action the way an attorney does, but instead to help the parties find a course of action together. While the mediator’s role may be subtle, a good mediator adds value in way not found in other dispute resolution proceedings such as trials. Further, an individual who can inhabit the roles of both mediator and experienced attorney can bring added value to both. For information on the mediation process, contact the attorneys at McBrayer.

Angela C. Evans, an Associate with McBrayer, is located in the firm’s Lexington office. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of affordable housing and litigation, and she supports small businesses with their legal needs. Ms. Evans also serves as Council Member of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council for the 6th District. Ms. Evans is a certified mediator, available to assist people in resolving disputes to avoid litigation or to help resolve litigation already pending. Contact Ms. Evans at aevans@mmlk.com or (859) 231-8780, ext. 116, or any of the attorneys at McBrayer who support growing businesses.  We take a team approach to deliver effective counsel to all our clients, so other attorneys in the firm may perform these services as well.

This article does not constitute legal advice.

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