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Mediation For Business

"We are continually faced with a series of brilliant opportunities disguised as insoluble problems." - John Gardner

 

How can I help you?

With over 10 years experience mediating business disputes and guiding parties, their attorneys and insurers through successful settlement negotiations, I understand the concerns and issues comprising business disagreements.

I provide a confidential, structured and congenial setting to explore all possibilities for reaching a mutual settlement of your business disputes, and work with attorneys and their clients, and unrepresented parties as well, to keep the negotiation environment flexible and congenial. Utilizing caucuses and brainstorming techniques, I assist the parties to bring all ideas and potential solutions to the table without rancor or judgment.

Mediating a business dispute, over litigating or arbitrating, has proven to be a highly successful process that is both time and cost effective for businesses.

Mediation for Small, Medium Sized Businesses

If you have a business dispute consider the following benefits to utilizing mediation:

 
  • MEDIATION IS PRIVATE.

    Most businesses prefer to keep internal matters private. Mediation allows companies in dispute to keep the confidence of their customers while resolving differences in the business arena privately.

  • MEDIATION PROVIDES CERTAINTY.

    Litigation brings with it many uncertainties that affect your business. Companies typically prefer to invest their dollars where they can maximize their profits rather than expend considerable time and costs for the uncertain outcomes inherent in litigation.

  • MEDIATION PRESERVES BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS.

    Business relationships are often irretrievably damaged in a contentious litigation even when parties settle on the eve of trial as most cases do. Early resolution puts parties in the position of crafting their best solutions and reducing the animosity that prolonged litigation creates.

  • MEDIATION REDUCES DISRUPTION.

    Litigation is very disruptive to companies. It takes time and energy away from the key decision makers, interrupts cash flow and reduces options for reinvestment, expansion and hiring. Business owners know there are better ways to use financial and other resources than to spend them on a lawsuit.

  • MEDIATION ENCOURAGES INNOVATION AND SELF DETERMINATION.

    If parties can start mediation early in the conflict, they can avoid expending time and money that only serve to make parties more determined to keep their adversarial positions and to miss the chance to explore intelligent and responsible solutions to their disputes.

  • MEDIATION DOES NOT CREATE LEGAL PRECEDENT.

    Part of the uncertainty of litigation is having a court or jury make a decision that leads to an adverse legal precedent. Litigating a matter may ultimately work against you in a different dispute not even imagined in the case at bar. Decisions made in mediation, unlike court rulings, are confidential, specific to the individual case and are most importantly determined by the parties themselves. They do not become legal precedent for any other cases or disputes.

  • MEDIATION IS FAVORED.

    In many cases, parties are discovering that arbitration, another alternative to litigation, has become as expensive and time consuming as litigation itself. The old fear parties had of appearing to be weak if they agreed to mediation early in the conflict is fading as parties are becoming more pragmatic and informed about resolving conflicts. Mediation is seen now as the most practical method for resolving disputes. A recent study at Stanford University revealed successful CEO's rated conflict management skills as their biggest area for their own personal development. They recognize how vital it is for the continuing growth and success of their companies and their responsibility to their stakeholders to be able to handle disputes quickly and effectively and retain the ultimate decision making power themselves.

  • IN MEDIATION, THE PARTIES CONTROL THE OUTCOME.

    As mediators, we do not render a decision and have no power to force the parties to settle their claims. Rather than determining who is right and who is wrong, our job is to understand the respective parties’ positions and see where they have common ground and the potential for compromise. This helps all concerned to focus on interests and solutions rather than adversarial positions and legal arguments.

    Whether you have an employment dispute, a contract disagreement, a construction problem, an intellectual property concern, we can help get your life back under control and move forward to a better future.

 

Request more info

Or give me a call at (310) 882-1853

What people are saying:

"We were very pleased to be able to mediate with Kathryn Marshall. When the negotiations seemed they were at a stalemate, she was able to identify several creative alternatives we then used to balance the settlement terms and got the job done."

C.R. - Business

"Kathryn Marshall reads the details. She was able to articulate the weaknesses for both sides in a constructive way no one had thought of before and we settled that afternoon."

D.C. - Contract

Request more info

Or give us a call at (310) 882-1853

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does mediation matter to me?

Traditional litigation is a mistake that must be corrected… Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for really civilized people.
- Chief Justice Warren Burger United States Supreme Court (Ret.)

Our American justice system is intentionally designed to be an adversarial process where parties take opposing sides in a dispute, usually represented by lawyers who zealously advocate for their respective client's positions. This process is governed and restricted by laws and, because the court is a communal stage which must be shared with many other disputants, parties who choose litigation find themselves further constrained by the court's limited time and attention.

Parties to lawsuits often do not understand the adversarial process or what is actually involved in going through trial. Their legal educations come with a very high price tag which the parties often do not fully appreciate until they have experienced the financial and emotional costs of depositions, written discovery, experts, and countless motions. They come to realize that the trial has not even begun and they must face a long, expensive and uncertain road still ahead.

What can mediation do for me?

A Pause Button Mediation is a voluntary process that functions like a pause button for parties engaged in litigation, or parties contemplating a lawsuit. Mediation brings the parties together in a safe and private setting to work with an unbiased neutral, called a mediator, who will assist the parties in exploring all options for a resolution to their conflict.

When should I mediate?

Sooner than later: Mediation can occur anytime before or after litigation has begun, however, the best timing for mediation is as early in the dispute as possible, ideally even before a case is actually filed or as soon after the parties and their attorneys have all of the factual and legal issues. It is preferable to mediate before the parties have expended substantial resources on expensive motions, discovery and depositions.

Who is in control?

Parties Control the Outcome The parties themselves stay in control of the outcome. The Mediator does not render a decision and has no power to force the parties to settle their claims. Rather than determining who is right and who is wrong, the Mediator’s job is to understand the respective parties’ positions and see where they have common ground and the potential for compromise. This helps all concerned to focus on interests and solutions rather than adversarial positions and legal arguments.

Can a mediator be called to testify in court?

Private and Confidential Unlike litigation, which is a very public forum held in an open court with records available to anyone, mediation is confidential. Everything that is discussed during the mediation, and any documents prepared especially for the mediation cannot be used by any party outside of the mediation process, or in any portion of the litigation or trial. Mediators are prohibited from disclosing anything that goes on during the mediation, and the parties themselves sign confidentiality agreements to ensure each party's interests are protected throughout the process. This allows the parties to freely explore solutions that can address their individual interests. Parties can consider more meaningful and satisfying resolutions tailored to their specific needs that are not limited by what the judge or jury can decide.

What does it cost?

Economical and certain Mediation is also economical and takes very little time when compared with litigation. The length of the mediation depends on the number of parties, the complexity of the issues, and how well prepared the parties and their attorneys are to commit to the process. Mediations typically last from three to eight hours while some complex cases, with many issues, may require more than one session to reach a resolution on each issue.

The time and cost spent in mediation is a tiny fraction of the cost necessary to pursue a case through trial where even one pre-trial motion may cost more than the entire mediation. Mediation carries far less risk than trial and provides certainty to the parties that they will make their own decisions without the delay, cost or interference of a judge or jury.

What if we can’t reach a full agreement?

A good mediator will have a significant amount of litigation experience and will help the parties realistically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their case. The odds are excellent that your case will settle in mediation. 90% of mediated cases result in a full settlement of the parties' issues. For the small percentage of cases that do not settle completely, even a partial settlement of issues accomplished through mediation is a significant benefit to the parties by narrowing down the issues to be litigated.

The reality is, less than 5% of litigated cases will go through an actual trial. It simply makes no sense for the parties to squander their assets in anticipation of having their day in court, only to settle on the court house steps after all the money, time and aggravation has been spent. Statistics show that the parties who determine the outcome themselves in mediation while preserving the assets of both sides are the most satisfied with their final settlement and is why a successful mediation is often referred to as a "win/win" for both parties.