I thoroughly enjoy helping people figure out and work through their differences in mediation. Family law and estate issues are particularly well-suited to mediation. Oftentimes there will be an ongoing relationship between the parties, mediation provides a neutral process during which the parties have an opportunity to resolve the problem at hand without further damage to the relationship in a way that works for everyone. When I mediate a matter, my goal is to facilitate a durable agreement which provides the parties with a reliable result they all trust because it is a result created by the parties. It is not my job to decide who is right or wrong, but to act as a guide to help each party (and his or her attorney) find the path to an agreement. By reaching an agreement, parties keep control over the result in their case and have certainty in the result.
Many mediators stick to a certain style of mediation where the parties are kept separate from one another throughout mediation and the mediator shuttles between the parties. While I am comfortable with this model, there are advantages to working together at the table to find solutions. Each case is different and the mediation style that works best for one matter, may not fit another. A mediator should be responsive to the needs of a case and able to tailor the process to best suit the situation.
My experience in the courtroom keeps me informed about risks and likely – or unlikely results – and my experience in mediation keeps me informed about creative solutions that may exist outside the litigation box. In Snohomish County, our bench welcomes agreements reached between the parties, and encourages them by requiring that parties try to settle their cases before trial. In many circumstances, the Court will affirm and accept and agreement reached between the parties even if the agreement is different from what a court would do at trial. This allows parties a great deal of latitude to create solutions which work best for the people involved.
If you are looking for a mediator, I encourage you to give my office a call and schedule a session.