“You shut your mouth when you’re talking to me!” Is this Mediation?


“You shut your mouth when you’re talking to me!” Is this Mediation?


Well, actually….yes. Mediation is an alternative to
litigation. It’s a place where the parties sit face to face with one another
and try to resolve their case without using judges, the courtroom, trials, and
even the law, but that is not to say that it doesn’t get confrontational or
emotional. However, despite the above, there are many advantages to
mediation….and we saw the advantages played out in Wedding Crashers, where they
ultimately came to an amicable agreement.


Below is an outline of the pros and cons of participating
in mediation:



  • Less

    • Litigating
      a case is extremely expensive. Generally, family law lawyers charge
      anywhere from $200-$800 dollars per hour. If you have a trial to resolve
      your divorce with a lawyer that charges $500/hour that lasts just two
      days, each party will spend EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS for those two days in
      court. That is not including any trial prep, paperwork, conversations or
      correspondence with the client or other attorneys, which could easily be
      an additional $10,000. So each party will have spent roughly $20,000, for
      a combined $40,000, which they could have put their kid through college
      with.  With mediation you may be
      able to resolve your entire case in one day and $1,000.00.
  • Quicker
    • From
      the time you file the first paper in a divorce, if you were working
      towards a trial date from the very beginning it would be about 6 months
      before your case would go to trial (and most cases do not know they are
      going to trial until at least 6 months into it). With mediation, before you
      ever even file the first paper, you could resolve the case, and it may
      take just one day.
  • Greater
    satisfaction with the outcome

    • Studies
      have shown that when people have had a hand in the final result, they are
      more satisfied. If you go to court and put the decision entirely into the
      judge’s hand, you may end up feeling like you had no say in where your
      children would primarily live, etc. However, if you fashioned a resolution
      in mediation, even if it wasn’t your first choice, you’re likely to be more
      satisfied because of your involvement and power to agree or not to agree.
  • You
    can resolve issues in ways that courts do not allow

    • For
      instance, the law requires that retirement accounts are split equally. In
      mediation, you don’t have to do that. Maybe in exchange for one party
      getting to stay in the home, the other gets their retirement without
      splitting it. You can fashion a resolution that works for the two of you
      and not be bound to what our legislature has required.



  • You
    do have to face your ex-spouse

    • If
      you litigate a case, most likely most of the communication can be done
      between the parties’ attorneys. When you stand in court, you never have to
      face your spouse. You always face the Judge straight ahead. In mediation,
      you will be talking directly to your spouse, looking at your spouse, and
      engaging with your spouse. To some, this is a huge con to mediation as
      they simply cannot bear being in the same space with the other person.
  • It
    may bring emotions to the surface

    • You
      may think you have “moved on” or gotten over the hurt that other may have
      caused you, but seeing them again brings it back to the surface, or
      angers you.
  • If
    unsuccessful, it may be an added cost

    • If
      you try mediation and it is not successful and THEN have to litigate, the
      mediation will have been an added cost.
  • Both
    parties must be willing to resolve the case

    • Mediation
      only works if both parties are truly ready and willing to resolve the
      case. Believe it or not, there are parties who simply like to keep the
      conflict going and, therefore, do NOT want to resolve the case. Mediation
      will not be successful unless both parties genuinely want resolution.


I am certified and trained mediator. I guarantee I will not
be as funny (or as vulgar) as Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers, however it’s
highly likely I will settle your case. I have been appointed on Riverside County’s panel of court mediators  and do private mediation as well. For more information on mediation call
(951) 463-5594.




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Holly has an illustrious resume, filled with an impressive number of awards and professional recognition in the field of family law. Holly has appeared at thousands of family law hearings and trials and has represented over 500 clients in divorce and custody matters; but that is not the distinguishing characteristic that makes her unique or a great attorney.

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