The decision to mediate, and when, can be a matter of strategic and fundamental importance in resolving a dispute and should be given full consideration in each situation. Even where mediation is prescribed, by court or contract, for example, a considerable amount of preparation, planning and strategy is required. This is where a legal representative who is fully versed in the mediation process can prove to be invaluable.
Unfortunately, in South Africa, and in many other countries around the world, the mediation process is often considered to be a ‘soft option’. This is quite untrue. Mediation requires a significant amount of hard work from participants and their representatives to achieve an outcome that is acceptable to both.
Your legal representative should properly understand the benefits of mediation, how it can be used to resolve a dispute, and should know when mediation is appropriate. Some legal representatives may even be able to guide you through the mediation process.
Some of the roles that legal representatives play in mediation are that they:
The success of mediation depends, to a large extent, on strict confidentiality and on your willingness to participate in an active way.
It’s a good idea to involve your attorney, particularly if he or she is open to being collaborative and is also open to helping you to solve the issues at hand.
Timothy van Rooyen Port Elizabeth Attorney, He has extensive knowledge in the industry, specialising in Divorce Law.
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