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What is Mediation?

Almost all courts require that the parties in lawsuits try to settle their cases through some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The most common type of ADR is mediation.

As you probably know, mediation is a process by which someone (a mediator) who has no interest in the outcome helps parties in conflict resolve their dispute themselves without having to engage in costly and lengthy litigation. See http://adr.findlaw.com/

Mediators such as Alan Banov are impartial third parties, but they are not judges. They do not "decide" cases; they merely serve as facilitators and assist disputants in settling their dispute without a court decision. Mediation allows the parties involved in a dispute to settle their arguments themselves; they control the outcome, rather than taking a chance on how a judge or jury may rule on their case.

While representation by a lawyer is definitely valuable to the parties in mediation, they are not required to have attorneys. At the same time, mediators do not serve as lawyers or representatives for either party. Mediators may privately advise a party that it has some weak arguments, but the party decides for herself/himself/itself how it wants to resolve the case.

Mediation may resolve a case in just one session, or it may take one or more sessions. It all depends on the parties' interests, resources, and willingness to compromise. But even if mediation takes several sessions before the parties reach an agreement, it should take much less time than a court or administrative case and usually does.

In mediation the parties can even settle matters not already presented in a court or administrative case; it just depends on what the parties want to settle. If all the disputes are resolved, which is typical, this is called a "global" settlement.

In June 2016, in discussing how Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders should try to resolve their differences in the Presidential campaign through compromise, former U.S. Senator Harry Reid described the value of compromise to the Washington Post as follows:

"It's not a one-way street. They're both going to have to, in effect, compromise," Reid said in an interview Tuesday. Reflecting on his earlier career as a trial lawyer, the Senate Democratic leader said, "I never knew what was going to happen when I went to trial, so if I could get a decent offer I would settle that case, and that's what I think my two friends should take a look at."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/next-for-democrats-a-delicate-dance-to-broker-peace-between-clinton-and-sanders/2016/06/08/34000b6c-2cbd-11e6-9b37-42985f6a265c_story.html?utm_term=.0a0a869f4d2d

Mr. Banov often quotes this perceptive comment at the outset of mediation sessions.

Even when a case fails to reach a settlement through mediation, the parties should learn the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions as a result of the mediation process, and sometimes they can settle the case themselves after mediation has been completed. In any event, they are certainly free at that point to allow an agency or court decide the case for them, with the understanding that the attorneys' fees to litigate the case through discovery, motions, and trial are generally very high.

How Do I Engage Alan Banov?

If you have a dispute with your employer or an employee and want to resolve it without litigation, or during litigation, you can contact Mr. Banov before the case is filed in court or with an administrative agency such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a local human rights agency. You can also engage in mediation while the case is at an agency or in court.

If you are seeking mediation, call Mr. Banov at 301-588-9699 or email him at abanov@banovlaw.com for a free consultation on the phone. Discuss your case with him and he will advise you how much he will charge for his services and how to engage him to mediate your case.



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