If you need a neutral mediator to help you explore solutions and negotiate mutually acceptable resolutions, contact The KJ Law Firm.
Located in downtown Montgomery, we offer mediation services throughout the state of Alabama.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a structured, interactive process of resolving disputes between parties.
The mediation process allows parties to consider the fairest and most reasonable solutions and avoid negative outcomes associated with litigation.
If you and another party are in a dispute over property, custody, or any other issue, but do not want the court to decide the outcome, you can instead go to mediation.
Mediation is a chance to resolve disputes amicably without the stress or cost of a court trial. An example would be spouses working through an uncontested divorce.
While mediation may not always work, it is a good alternative to those who prefer to avoid a court case.
At The KJ Law Firm, mediation services are provided by Kristine Jones, Attorney-at-Law.
As a registered mediator with the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution, or ACDR for short, Kristine will act fairly and impartially in every case.
Mediators registered with the ACDR must, at a minimum:
- Be licensed as an attorney in the state of Alabama
- Agree to subscribe and adhere to the Alabama Code of Ethics for Mediators
- Have successfully completed a 40-hour mediation course on domestic relations issues
About the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution
Quoting from the ACDR website:
The Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution… is a non-profit corporation organized to “develop, implement, administer, assist, and manage alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs in the courts, neighborhoods, educational facilities and government agencies within the State of Alabama.”
What Does Mediation Involve?
Mediation services offer a chance for conflict resolution through discussion and compromise.
The two parties sit down with the mediator and talk out the problem. Sometimes, the parties bring their own lawyers to the mediation, but they aren’t required. Often, clients simply represent themselves.
The mediator’s job is to keep the conversation going. They assist in helping each party understand the other’s point of view and avoid getting hung up on small details or issues.
The mediator does not make a decision in the case – instead, they help the two parties come to an agreement. The mediator can suggest solutions, but it’s up to the two parties involved to decide the final outcome.
Once they’ve come to an agreement, they sign a mediation agreement.
Mediation or Arbitration?
Kristine is not an arbitrator, though she may represent you in an arbitration case.
Arbitration is different from mediation in that the arbitrator, much like a judge, does make the final decision in the case. Arbitration is more formal in that witnesses may be called, evidence is examined, and the final decision is a binding legal decision that will be upheld in court.
Unlike mediation, both parties almost always have the services of a lawyer during arbitration.
There is rarely any contact outside of the arbitration sessions, either. It’s a more formal process and is usually done with the parties don’t want to go to court, but are unable to come to a compromise or agreement in any way.