Why Arizona Attorneys Should Encourage their Client’s to Mediate with a Private Mediator

What Arizona attorneys want, more than anything else, are happy, satisfied clients.
Happy, satisfied clients make attorneys’ jobs fulfilling.  These types of clients are also more likely to pay their bills, not complain and refer their friends and colleagues to their attorneys.

Attorneys who use mediation in Arizona are more likely to have happy, satisfied clients.  With mediation, there is no losing party.  The clients save money, time and the stress of a trial, and they have the satisfaction of reaching their own agreements.  Mediation also provides the cathartic experience clients often need of being heard.

In private mediation, the attorneys still have the opportunity to guide and protect their clients, as good mediators actively involve the attorneys in the process and rely on the attorney’s wisdom and persuasive skills.  Good mediators go out of their ways to make attorneys look good to their clients.

Maricopa County Superior Courts often offer settlement conferences with a Judge Pro Tempore  in litigation.  However, there are significant detriments to using settlement conferences instead of a private mediator.  First, the attorneys do not get to pick the Judge Pro Tempore.  The Judge Pro Tempore assigned may be untrained in or bad at conflict resolution.  In that case, the conference may be a waste of time and resources.  It may also cause the parties to drift further apart in their settlement postures.  Second, settlement conferences are limited in time – generally to two to three hours.  Cases often need a full day to settle.  Third, settlement conferences are usually only offered at the tail end of cases, right before trial.  Attorneys can often save the time of gearing up for trial by requesting a private mediation as soon as they have their discovery complete, or even earlier.

In family law cases, the Maricopa County Superior Court offers mediation for $200.00.  Private mediation is still a better option.  First, again, the attorneys cannot ensure the quality of the mediators or the timing of the mediation.  Second, attorneys are not allowed to participate in these mediation sessions.  Finally the mediation is limited to custody and access issues.
Busy attorneys get the added benefit from private mediation of getting cases (including those troublesome cases) off their desks.

Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
a Professional Limited Liability Company
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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