MEDIATION SERVICES AND UNDERSTANDING THE REALITIES
We receive numerous calls from clients requiring mediation assistance in regard to a variety of legal matters. These include:
- Family law, child maintenance, child custody, emigration matters, divorces, parenting plans, settlement agreements, un-couplings,
- Property law breach of contract and landlord-tenant disputes,
- Sectional Title disputes between body corporate and members thereof,
- Information Technology contractual disputes involving service levels,
- Homeowners Association matters,
- Employment and Labour disputes, and the like.
Unfortunately, no matter how much one party wishes to engage in mediation to attempt to resolve a dispute through consensus, it is true that mediation cannot be invoked where the other party is unwilling to do so, or despite having a contractual obligation to engage in mediation, where a dispute arises, the party decides not to do so in which a breach of contract arises in addition to the original dispute.
In such instances, what is required is a purposeful and tactful approach to explore the mediation opportunity and to seek to encourage the other party to take the opportunity available by ensuring that the party understands the consequences and risks of failing to engage in the mediation with or without their legal representatives being present.
In many instances, the presence of legal representatives during the mediation assists both parties to have more comfort with the process and this is the preferred mediation process in the United States where the right to legal representation remains absolute and at the choice of any party to any legal dispute.
We therefore recommend that in any mediation services available to the public, in instances where one party is unwilling or reluctant to engage in the mediation process, sound legal reasoning and common sense rationale be sought to make the most of the mediation opportunity.
Article published courtesy of RexLex Mediations & Arbitrations
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