Mediation: A Cheaper and Faster Alternative to Litigation

Westside Dispute Resolution Services (WDRS) opened its doors to serve a growing demand for high quality and inexpensive alternatives to litigation!
 
May 31, 2011 - PRLog -- Often in these tough economic times, when individuals and businesses find themselves facing potential lawsuits, an increasing number discover that they cannot afford the costly attorneys fees, court costs and extensive time commitments associated with litigation. As a result, many are choosing mediation as an alternative to taking their cases to court because of its lower costs, shorter time commitment, and the ability of parties involved to control the outcome of their disputes. Reginald Joseph, a young Los Angeles attorney and certified mediator recognized the growing demand for alternative dispute resolution, and took steps to launch a privately owned mediation practice called Westside Dispute Resolution Services.

Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution, is a facilitative process in which a mediator helps parties involved in a legal dispute negotiate ways to resolve their conflict in the hopes of settling their case and avoiding costly litigation. In contrast to judges or arbitrators who listen to evidence and make judgments on facts and law, a mediator’s role is not to take sides, give legal advise or impose decisions on the parties, but rather to guide the parties to reach their own resolution that meets and satisfies their mutual needs and concerns. If a resolution is reached between the parties involved, the mediator then assists them in writing an agreement which can be binding and enforceable. In most cases, a mediation session occurs in a single day, the costs are shared between the parties, and neither party is prevented from ultimately taking their dispute to court if they choose to do so. Note: Statistics indicate that mediation has about an 80% resolution success rate.

The costs associated with litigating in court can be daunting for many individuals and small businesses who find themselves facing legal battles. Parties often find they are not only responsible for paying their attorneys fees, which can average upwards of five hundred dollars per hour, but they find they are also responsible for court filing costs, travel expenses and overhead. When a judgment is finally made in court on their claims, which can take several months, if not years, each party may have easily committed over twenty thousand dollars by the conclusion of their lawsuit. In contrast, mediators, who generally charge hourly or day rate fees, allow the parties to split the costs of each mediation session in the manner of their own choosing, which typically results in being only a fraction of the costs of litigating in court.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits to mediation is its confidentiality. Unlike Court, where most statements and documents are considered public record, in mediation, anything said or written during the course of the process is inadmissible in court with few exceptions. This allows for an effective environment in which the parties involved can speak freely and become central to the manner in which a resolution is reached. For these reasons, many courts across the United States are encouraging parties to consider mediation as an alternative to litigation and several courts have already imposed court ordered mediation programs. Furthermore as Mr. Joseph says, “Mediation not only addresses the legal issues of liability and damages between the parties, but it also addresses additional important concerns including communication, continuing personal or business relationships and strong emotions.”

Westside Dispute Resolution Services (WDRS) founded in 2010 and based in Culver City, California serves individuals as well as local businesses throughout Southern California. According to Mr. Joseph, “WDRS offers a wide range of disputes for individuals and small businesses including breaches of contract, employment disputes, partnership issues, intellectual property disputes, landlord/tenant conflicts, and creditor issues”

Reginald Joseph. a California licensed attorney with a background in corporate and entertainment law, also serves as a mediator for the Los Angeles County Bar Association and  the Los Angeles City Attorneys Office. For individuals and businesses interested in finding additional  information about the mediation process,  please visit Westside Dispute Resolution Services’ website at www.westsidedrs.com.

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We are a southern California based dispute resolution company providing mediation services to the business community, entertainment industry and civil disputants as a time saving and cost effective alternative to litigation.
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