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Shawn Bible - Lawyer in NW Georgia


I am asked often what is mediation?  Mediation is a process where there is an attempt to resolve a case prior to trial.   Depending on the locality and the mediator the process can differ.  However, in general mediation is where both parties go to a mediator’s office.  The mediator will usually be an attorney who has been approved or certified to act as a neutral mediator.  Ther parties will go back and forth and try to resolve the case by agreement with the mediator trying to move each party towards a fair resolution.

I practice mostly in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit in Northwest Georgia.  In our circuit mediation is mandatory in most civil cases.  There is a mediation coordination office that facilitates setting up mediation.  Usually, the parties are each responsible for half the cost of mediation and there is usually a two hour minimum.   Mediation can be in person with each party and their attorney in different rooms and the mediator will go back and forth.  However, sometimes mediation can be conducted with all parties in the same room.  It is also common for mediation to be done remotely by Zoom or another such service.

If the case is resolved at mediation the mediator will draw up the agreement and both parties will sign.  The mediation agreement is then filed and binding and enforceable on both parties.  Usually that mediation agreement will be written up as a final court order and presented to the Judge for signature.   If the case is not resolved the case usually go forward to trial.

Mediation can be in some cases a more cost effective and less stressful alternative to trial.  However, for it to be successful both parties must be reasonable and act in good faith. Of course, not all cases can be resolved at mediation but it usually a worthwhile to attempt a resolution by mediation.

Posted on: 26 Jun, 2024          under: Divorce, General

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