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Mediation Month in Alabama

Thursday, October, 4, 2012

Six years ago, Alabama's Samford University implemented a program that would provide free mediation services. In October of 2012, the Birmingham Bar Association of Birmingham, AL, will work with the university to promote mainstream acceptance and use of mediation services.

Why Mediation Services--and Why Now?

The financial crunch of the last four years has hit everyone. It's hit some places harder than it has others. And Alabama qualifies as someplace.

The situation has been especially difficult in Jefferson County. Difficulties with money often create more legal problems that end up going to court. The same circumstances that have caused recent money problems are also causing a cash flow shortage with public institutions.

In other words, lack of money has Jefferson County's courts clogged, any which way you look at it.

The Cumberland Community Mediation Center

The collaboration is between the Birmingham Bar Association's Alternative Dispute Resolution section and Samford University's Cumberland Community Mediation Center.

The two groups will be promoting seminars and volunteering in the courts and outside of the courts to provide mediation services during October. "Mediation Week" will involve free mediation services outside of the Jefferson County District Court in Birmingham.

"The limits of mediation are defined only by our imagination," said one Bar member. "Many insightful people are learning that mediation works not only in civil lawsuits, but also in complex community and political conflicts."

Unlike with arbitration, the dispute is not settled by a third party. Instead, mediation services help the two parties to come to an agreement with each other.

Civil Mediation Doesn't Have to be All or Nothing

One of the high points about mediation is that it doesn't have to be 100% successful to be successful. 

In other words, even if you don't solve EVERYTHING via mediation, you can count yourself ahead. Because every issue that you solve outside of court, is an issue you don't have to solve in court.

And if you don't know time means money, you'll definitely know it after spending time in court with a trial lawyer. In the long run, you can save a lot of money, heartache, and stress by going with a mediation attorney before you ever go to trial.

See a list of mediators that may be offering free mediation service in Alabama.