The majority of Probate Courts in South Carolina have adopted the Supreme Court’s Mediation Pilot Program which began almost eight (8) years ago. Under this program, certain cases must be mediated before they are assigned a trial date. This post provides some basic information on what to expect at mediation.
What exactly is mediation?
Mediation is when individuals (usually with their legal counsel) attempt to find a solution to a legal matter instead of having the court determine the outcome. Mediations are conducted by a mediator, a neutral third party whose sole purpose is to help both sides reach an agreement. These mediators might be chosen by the parties or assigned by the Court.
How do I choose a mediator?
Just like any profession, not all mediators are the same. Factors such as experience and training can have a substantial impact on the outcome. If you have an attorney, they will likely make a recommendation based on the issues to be mediated, the personalities of the parties and even recommendations from the Court.
What should I expect?
Mediation is all about moving forward and finding a solution all parties can agree on in order to end the dispute. Mediators aren’t there to take sides, find the truth or force the parties to do anything they don’t agree to.
While every mediation is different, they generally include the following steps:
Contrary to popular belief, mediation is a simple forum in which both sides can express their grievences in a safe environment in hopes of coming to an agreement that works for everyone. Unlike a traditional win or loose scenario in a courtroom, mediations are most successful when each party compromises. They’ve provided great outcomes for every type of dispute including probate, divorce and child custody and even complex civil litigation.
Provence Messervy has multiple mediators certified in both civil and family mediation and would love the opportunity to help you resolve your dispute outside of the traditional courtroom setting.