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American Bar Association Recognizes National Mediation Week

Thursday, October, 17, 2013


The third week of October is recognized as National Mediation Week by the American Bar Association in an attempt to educate more people about the option of collaborative dispute resolution instead of litigation in civil, labor, business and family disputes.  Mediation allows parties in dispute to work through their problems with open communication, with the assistance of a neutral, third-party mediator who is trained in the art of facilitating negotiations. 


Due to the voluntary nature of mediation, parties who participate in this form of alternative dispute resolution are able to remain in complete control of the outcome of their negotiations—a plus, especially when difficult family matters such as child custody are at the core of the dispute.  Unlike litigation, mediation is completely confidential; when parties work with a mediator to resolve a dispute, the details and outcome of the negotiations are kept completely private.  This is especially important for businesses who wish to maintain their reputation and avoid public exposure of the lawsuits brought against them. 


Many states offer free mediation programs for cases involving divorce, child custody, visitation rights, adult guardianship and small claims.  Such programs assist in dealing with problems related to crowded court dockets and extended litigation.  They also provide a low-cost alternative to costly and lengthy court battles.  


States affected by natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, have also used mediation to assist with insurance claim settlements after a natural disaster has occurred.  These programs have seen a high interest rate and high success rate in helping claimants reach a resolution and receive settlement from insurance companies.