Are Negotiations Confidential?

Settlement negotiations, offers of settlement and related information exchanged during a settlement conference or mediation are “confidential” and cannot be introduced in court at a later time (with a few rare or limited exceptions).  The mediator cannot be called as a witness to provide evidence of settlement offers.

Will the Mediator Give Me Legal Advice?

No. The mediator does not represent nor does he act as attorney for either side.  While an evaluation of your case may be provided, it is not legal advice as to how you should proceed.  You should rely upon your own attorney solely for that.

How Can a Mediation Be Scheduled?

If you wish to have your case mediated at Anderson Hunter by one of our attorneys, simply e-mail or call the attorney with your request. You will be asked to provide your name and the identity of the other party in order that we can run a check to ensure we do not have any conflicts of interest.

What Is the Cost of Mediation and Who Pays for It?

Every mediation is different in terms of how much time will be involved, the complexity of issues (and how much time our mediator needs to be prepared), etc.  But to provide an example, a typical mediation in a divorce involving division of assets and liabilities, child support, spousal maintenance and the residential schedule for the children, may well involve a full 8-hour day, including at least one hour for the mediator to review pre-mediation information or memorandum supplied.   Geoff Gibbs routinely charges $250 per hour and will require that a deposit for 4 hours be provided at the time the mediation is scheduled.   However, in certain cases, he will reduce this cost for ‘pro bono’ parties on a case-by-case basis.  Other Anderson Hunter mediators may charge at a different rate and should be contacted directly in this regard.

Usually, each party to a mediation pays one-half of the mediation cost, but the parties are free to negotiate with each other in this regard (or during mediation).  But each will be expected to deposit one-half the 4-hour minimum retainer absent written agreement between the parties.  The mediator will expect that the balance of the costs of mediation will be paid prior to the mediation concluding.  Credit cards (VISA/MasterCard) are accepted.

Mediation is usually done during normal business hours (Monday – Friday) but in rare circumstances, a weekend mediation may be considered.

Preparation for Mediation:

To better serve you and to make the mediation process efficient, the mediator will expect that some form of pre-mediation memorandum and supporting materials will be received in advance (at least 48 hours in advance absent agreement).   Again, as an example, in a family law case that might include the following:

  • A summary of the issues to be resolved;
  • The background of the case and the parties (age, employment, etc.) with copies of any relevant court orders, documents or pleadings that may help in mediation;
  • A “Financial Declaration” if the cases involves child support; spousal maintenance or a request for an award of attorney’s fees;
  • Copies of relevant financial documents (e.g., tax returns, paystubs, 401(K) statements);
  • A summary or table of assets and liabilities that includes a proposed distribution or division of the same;
  • A proposed “Parenting Plan” if children are involved;
  • Any other relevant documents to assist in resolving issues (an example might be a real estate appraisal if the value of the property is an issue).

Who Will Be the Mediator at Anderson Hunter?

Although the parties are free to select any attorney to act as their mediator, particularly in cases related to family law but in many other types of cases as well, Geoff Gibbs most often serves in this role. Other Anderson Hunter attorneys that do mediations regularly include Brad Cattle (Municipal & Real Estate matters), G. Paul Carpenter (Real Estate & Construction Disputes), Jack Follis (Employment & Personal Injury Matters) and Jeffrey Wishko (Commercial Litigation matters). Jack Follis is an affiliated neutral with Washington Arbitration and Mediation Services (WAMS) the Northwest’s premier network of highly trained and skilled dispute resolution professionals.

How Can a Mediation Be Scheduled?

If you wish to have your case mediated at Anderson Hunter by one of our attorneys, simply e-mail or call the attorney with your request. You will be asked to provide your name and the identity of the other party in order that we can run a check to ensure we do not have any conflicts of interest.

 

SCHEDULE A MEDIATION

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