What Does it Mean to be an “Unbiased” or “Neutral” Mediator?

When I conduct a mediation, I always take steps to ensure all participants feel that I am treating them with respect and with equal consideration. I consider it a mediator’s primary job to be trustworthy, neutral and unbiased. What that means is I do not show favor to one participant over the other. To make sure people feel comfortable, I go so far as to alternate the order in which I list the participants’ names (on emails and agreements, for example). I warn mediation participants that some … [Read more...]

Mediation – The Best Option Even When Cost Is Not A Concern

The option of divorce mediation is often raised when parties do not want to pay tens of thousands of dollars to attorneys and experts to get a divorce. Mediation is almost always the much less expensive way to divorce. This fact notwithstanding, mediation is also the right option when money is no concern. Whether one has money to spare or not, everyone benefits from the peaceful process, which promotes the welfare of the children (where there are children involved) and eliminates the risk of … [Read more...]

Mediation Helps Children Around the World

A recent article discusses the very real benefits of mediation to children whose parents are divorcing.  See "Mediation works in kids' custody spats" by Theresa Tan and published in The Straits Times on, Apr 05, 2015.  Singapore has a mandatory mediation program for divorcing parents.  About four out of five of the almost 5,000 divorcing parents who have gone through the programs have reached agreements regarding their children. A spokesman for the program reported that mediation: … [Read more...]

Do We Have To Be In The Same Room to do a Mediation

In most of the family mediations I conduct, the parties are in the same room throughout the process.  However, when a party requests it, or if the dynamic between the parties is too hostile or uncomfortable, the parties can stay in different rooms for some or all of the mediation. There are pros and cons for being in the same room during the mediation.  One recent mediation participant had this to say about the issue:  “I was in the same airspace with my wife so there was no confusion over … [Read more...]

How is Collaborative Law used in Civil Litigation

A. General Overview of Collaborative Law in Arizona Those facing civil litigation may use a process called Collaborative Law to resolve their dispute out of court. Collaborative Law means that both parties retain collaboratively trained attorneys to help resolve the matter using interest-based negotiations. The parties also enter into participation agreements requiring their collaborative attorneys and other professionals retained to withdraw if there is no settlement. The agreement also … [Read more...]

Is Mediation for the NFL and the Players a Good Idea?

The dispute between the NFL and the players has been described as a case of billionaires fighting millionaires.  The NFL wants to renegotiate the terms of its contract with the players.  The players feel the requested changes are unfair.  Currently, there is a lockout in place that has been temporarily upheld by the Court.  A hearing is scheduled on the issue for June 3, 2011.    The parties attended voluntary mediation in Washington in March.  The Court ordered continued mediation, and the … [Read more...]

Facebook Decision Demonstrates Mediation is Effective

Everyone who watched “The Social Network” (or one of the many news programs and articles featuring Mark Zuckerberg) is familiar with the case between Facebook and ConnectU, Inc. (the Winklevoss twins (hereinafter “the Twins”)).  The Twins sued Facebook for allegedly stealing their idea, and Facebook countersued.  The District Court ordered the parties to attend mediation. The parties agreed in writing that their mediation would be confidential.  The confidentiality agreement provided:  “all … [Read more...]

Mediation to End Your Neighborhood Dispute in Arizona

Your neighborhood should be a stress-free zone.  However, we have all had a neighbor or two who made our very existence intolerable: the one with the car alarm that goes off every night (you know who you are); the ones who want everyone to enjoy their colorful marital fights (your door does close, Sir.  You know that, don’t you?); or the ones who will not remove their lawn ornaments from your side of the property (do you really need both the donkey and the gnome?) The list … [Read more...]

What are the Benefits of Mediating vs. Going to Court in Arizona?

Choosing  Mediation in Arizona is a great option to resolve or prevent conflict in your life.  Mediation, and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR"), including Collaborative law and facilitation, are powerful methods of resolving conflict that allows the participants to end disputes without the unnecessary expense and stress that litigation can bring. Using a Mediator, and other forms of ADR, have many benefits. The Benefits of Using A Mediator in Arizona: … [Read more...]

How Can You Afford to Hire A Lawyer in this economy? Phoenix Arizona

When Going to court in Arizona can cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, who can afford pay to litigate in this current economy?  Okay, who can afford to litigate other than corporations that received TARP money? Conflicts do not generally disappear when money is short supply.  Typically, more conflicts tend to arise when money is short.  It has been said that money problems are one of the top reasons for relationship issues.  Further, with a bad economy, more people are failing to … [Read more...]

Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E Butherus Dr, Suite #7 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 998-1500