When a dispute arises, litigation is not the only option.
Negotiations conducted by a skilled and experienced mediator in a more relaxed environment may enable the parties to reach a mutually agreed resolution without trial. Mediation is not only less expensive than going to court but can also reduce the animosity felt by the litigants.
Choosing the mediator is important. You should ask yourself these questions about any mediator you are considering.
Q: Does he or she have the legal experience in the particular field necessary to fully understand the parties’ positions, assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case, help the parties understand what they face if the litigation moves forward and guide the parties to a decision?
The Robinson & McElwee Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group is comprised of mediators with significant experience in a variety of legal disciplines including general litigation, employment law, corporate and transactional matters, oil and gas issues, real estate disputes, will contests, and others. We offer parties and attorneys seeking a mediator a catalog of qualified mediators – all of whom have been fully trained by the West Virginia State Bar Association.
Included in this section of our website is a brief summary of the experience and qualifications of each of our ADR Practice Group mediators. Simply click on the link below each of the attorneys’ summaries to see the complete statement of experience and qualifications for each of the mediators you might select.
Q: Does the mediator have a procedure in place which permits the parties to educate him or her about the issues prior to meeting in person to resolve them?
It is critical to the mediation process that the mediator understands the issues and facts in the matter he or she will mediate. Members of the Robinson & McElwee ADR Practice Group use uniform processes that enable the parties and their counsel to provide information to the mediator on a confidential basis.
Q: Does the mediator listen to the parties and really hear what it is important to each of them?
Perhaps the most important characteristic of a good mediator is that he or she be willing to spend necessary time listening to the parties, understanding their perspectives, and finding creative ways to resolve conflicts. Robinson & McElwee mediators listen.
Q: Does the mediator offer a convenient and purpose-built location for conducting the mediation?
Robinson & McElwee offers specially designed mediation suites in both our Charleston and Clarksburg offices. These purpose-built facilities offer a quiet and comfortable setting in which the parties and their counsel can carefully consider and privately discuss the issues. Should the parties decide to work through a meal period, food can be catered at each location. During mediation, soft drinks and refreshments are available.
Q: Is the mediator amenable to discussing fees and costs openly and frankly in advance of the mediation?
Members of the Robinson & McElwee ADR Practice Group make it a practice to fully discuss fees and costs in advance of the mediation sessions so that the parties and their counsel have a clear understanding of the expense. We reduce these understandings to writing at the time of our engagement.