Civil disputes are those that involve non-family issues. Many civil disputes involve a disagreement in a contract or financial agreement. Learn more about Civil Law Mediation and how it could be a good fit for your specific situation:
What Is Civil Law Mediation?
Civil Law Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that focuses on working out problems without having to go to court. It involves opposing parties as well as a mediator that helps facilitate the conversation to reach a mutual agreement. Attorneys are sometimes present but aren’t required in a Civil Law Mediation.
What Kind of Cases Are Involved With Civil Law Mediation?
There are many different cases that Civil Law Mediation can help with. Many of our clients who choose this type of mediation have one of the following disagreements with someone else:
- Breach of Contract
- Employment Disputes
- Neighborhood Disputes
- Partnership Breakups
- Small Claims
Is Civil Law Mediation a Good Fit for Me?
Civil Law Mediation is best suited for those parties who are willing to work together to come to an agreement. The mediator will not give solutions or answers, but rather will facilitate communication between the parties. Mediators help the parties brainstorm options and work together to form a mutually beneficial resolution. This type of mediation is a good option for those parties who are willing to talk about their concerns and work through the process with the mediator as a guide.
If one or both parties are unwilling to discuss their side of the dispute, we recommend choosing other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolutions or litigation.
Can Anyone Be the Mediator in a Civil Law Mediation Case?
Donita King is a certified mediator at 5 levels. She has gone through extensive training and has experience mediating in many different situations. As a trained certified mediator, she can help opposing parties reach an agreement through mediation best practices and current laws. Any mediation that is court-referred in the state of Virginia is required to be mediated by a certified mediator.
What Can I Expect During the Civil Law Mediation Process?
When you meet for your first Civil Law Mediation at Donita King Law Offices, you will enter a private room within our office. The opposing party will be present as well as a certified mediator from our office. You’ll sit at a table, usually across from the opposing party, with the mediator seated somewhere at the head of the table or in between the two parties. If attorneys are present, they will sit next to their client.
The mediator will ask you questions about the disagreement and you will have the ability to speak about your feelings and situation. The opposing party will get to do the same, and the mediator will help facilitate the conversation.
Usually, in this type of mediation, the mediator will ask direct questions that may be hard to answer. However, being honest in your feelings and concerns is the best way to move forward to reach an agreement.
It is important to note that the mediator will not provide answers or solutions to the problem. Rather, the mediator will ask questions and help clarify what each party is stating so that a solution can be reached.
How Long Do Civil Law Mediations Last?
Usually, mediations last anywhere between 2-4 hours. Some mediation sessions last about two hours and have only a few concerns to discuss. Other mediations can last longer to allow enough time to sort everything out. If the opposing parties need to travel a long distance to our offices, we may schedule an extended meditation session to allow for more time to reach a mutual agreement.
How Many Mediation Sessions Are Needed?
There are many cases when only one mediation session is needed to come to an agreement. These short sessions usually include two opposing parties that are ready and willing to find common ground on non-complex issues.
There are also instances when multiple Civil Law Mediation Sessions are necessary to reach an agreement. These usually involve more complex cases that need extra time. Your mediator will know when to continue meditations or if the mediation process should end without coming to an agreement. Make sure to be honest in your concerns and feelings and tell the mediator if at any point you want to discontinue the Civil Law Mediation process.
Who Pays for a Civil Law Mediation?
In the state of Virginia, referred mediations that are ordered by the court are free of charge to the clients. These are usually General District, Juvenile, and Domestic Relations court cases.
At Donita King Law Offices, our mediating services usually involve those private cases that are headed toward the Circuit Court case level. Some mediations happen before filing in court while others happen afterward.
Most parties split the fees for civil law mediation. If two parties come with attorneys, it is possible that the mediation fee is paid for by the retainer with the attorney. However, clients often choose civil law mediation when they want to keep their issue private and don’t want to have to hire attorneys if possible.
Are Civil Law Mediations Confidential?
Yes, this type of mediation usually only involves the people in the room during the mediation session. The mediator will take notes, but any personal details discussed during the mediation are kept confidential from outside parties.
If a civil law mediation is part of an active court case, sometimes the mediator will submit a simple document to the court regarding whether the mediation was successful or not. You can be assured that the details of your mediation session are kept confidential at Donita King Law Offices.
Who Wins in Civil Law Mediation Cases?
The beauty of mediation is that two parties reach an agreement together. This means that mediation is a win-win situation if successful. Both parties may need to be flexible in their demands and give a little to reach an overall agreement. However, successful mediations usually end with both parties being quite satisfied with the outcome as they are tailored to the particular situation by the parties themselves.
There is a chance that a mediation could not reach an agreement. In these cases, the two opposing parties can choose another form of Alternative Dispute Resolution. As an arbitrator, Donita King can also help clients in this capacity if they so choose.