Our Approach To Dispute Resolution And Mediation
Conflicts and disputes are a part of business and a part of life. They can drain key resources of time, money, and energy. Serious conflict can divert parties away from their positive business pursuits to overly-consuming conflict management. We believe, however, that under the right leadership and guidance, all conflicts can be resolved positively and efficiently, bringing parties back to their normal focus.
Shareholder Rebecca Anderson leads our dispute resolution practice. She combines her extensive legal knowledge and deal-making skills (built over 25 years of practicing law) with her ability to navigate difficult emotions to provide creative, win/win solutions to complex disputes. Rebecca is especially skilled at understanding people, thinking outside-the-box, and defusing conflict – distinctive skills which combined with her legal expertise prove to be a powerful combination in conflict resolution. She knows people, knows the law, and delivers solutions.
Rebecca provides mediation, facilitation and advocacy services in all types of real estate and business disputes, including those arising in employment settings, divorce, and trust and estates proceedings.
“Becky thinks multiple moves ahead in devising her legal strategy. Then she quickly and methodically approaches the problem. She brought us immediate resolution. She didn’t waste her time or our money with inefficiencies or dragging things out. She understood exactly who to speak to and what to say and when to say it. We obtained the best outcome and were spared a legal battle because of Becky’s irrefutable persuasion with the opposing party. Becky Anderson receives my highest recommendation. I would never want to be on the side of Becky’s opposing party.”
We believe dispute resolution can be a positive, transformative experience for all involved. However, every conflict is unique and different services work best for resolving different types of conflicts.
- Mediation – Mediation is a process in which two parties in conflict voluntarily negotiate a successful resolution under the guidance and facilitation of a neutral third party (the mediator). This process is consensual and only works when both disputing parties agree to engage in mediation to try to resolve their conflict. Mediation allows parties to decide the final outcome on their terms, rather than leaving the outcome to the courts. Mediation is normally much more cost effective and less stressful than litigation. Approximately 85% of all litigated disputes resolve themselves through mediation.
- Advocacy – Sometimes it is more beneficial for clients to have a lawyer on their side, but one who is skilled and experienced in resolving disputes outside the courtroom. Advocacy is the representation of a client in a legal dispute by an attorney whose objective is to resolve the dispute outside the courtroom. This process is usually lengthier than mediation but often very successful in resolving disputes without litigation. Like mediation, the client retains control of the outcome of the dispute. Unlike mediation, a client is represented by an attorney, receives legal advice and counseling from the attorney and has all of the benefits of that relationship, including the attorney-client privilege and advocacy on the client’s behalf. This process is very useful if the other party in a dispute is not willing to work towards a resolution or engage in mediation.
- Facilitation – Not every dispute is headed towards litigation or is even legal in nature. Often parties need assistance in resolving conflict or discussing issues. Nearly all businesses, individuals and entities can benefit from a neutral third party (the facilitator) keeping the conversation accountable, respectful, purposeful and focused. A facilitator is also useful in leading brainstorming efforts and helping parties focus on getting from their starting point to their finish line, whatever their goals may be. Facilitation is very useful in any setting, including resolving issues in the employment arena before they grow into major problems; focusing groups such as Boards or associations in their overall plans and objectives; working through crisis management; or even simply facilitating companies in developing their five-year plans. Facilitation is an excellent resource and investment in the health of an organization or relationships between individuals and employers/employees, and saves considerable time and money in keeping parties focused in their discussions and on their objectives.
Our Focus Areas
- Real Estate
- Divorce (often involving significant business and/or real estate assets)
Why Mediation Instead Of Litigation?
Conflict can arise in business, at work, with family, with neighbors and any other life setting. People often turn to the legal system when a conflict becomes impossible to resolve. But litigation isn’t the only way to resolve conflict, and settling a dispute does not have to involve a courtroom and a judge. We provide dispute resolution services that help parties and clients manage conflict without the cost, stress and uncertainty of litigation. Our firm, pragmatic approach, combined with our compassion, respect, and empathy, achieves results that are mutually beneficial for all parties and leaves all parties satisfied with the outcome.
Mediation saves money. The litigation process requires many phases of work before even getting to a trial, which quickly adds up in fees. Mediation is an affordable, cost-effective approach to reach a resolution. Many disputes can be mediated in one day, resulting in substantially lower costs than litigation.
Mediation saves time. The process of litigation usually requires a significant time investment for all parties and their attorneys. In addition, the final outcome may not be decided for years, prolonging the strain. With mediation, the parties focus on the resolution, not the battle, saving considerable time and delay. The parties control the time frame, not the court.
Mediation reduces stress. Conflict is stressful, and litigation is an adversarial venue in which to resolve conflict. Parties are normally in battle, faced with a win/lose outcome. In contrast, mediation focuses on voluntary outcomes that are agreeable to all. The process is designed to be collaborative and conciliatory, not contentious and hostile.
Mediation gives clients control. In mediation, clients are active participants in the process, making decisions along the way that affect the final outcome. Litigation puts the dispute in the hands of a judge or jury, leaving clients without any direct control of the outcome.