Mediation is an informal, confidential process used by parties in a legal conflict to resolve their conflict without having to engage in protracted litigation. This process is facilitated by a neutral third-party called the mediator. Brad Sneed is a trained mediator with over fifteen (15) years of legal experience.

The purpose of mediation is for the conflicted parties to speak directly to one another about their concerns and view of the conflict in an attempt to resolve the dispute on their own terms. The mediator's role is to facilitate this process and help the parties arrive at possible solutions that may not be available through litigation. It is crucial to the success of mediation that each party attends with an open mind and a willingness to listen to the other party and their concerns.

Mediation is confidential. Anything the parties tell the mediator is strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to the other party or anyone else, unless the mediator is compelled to do so by statute or a court order. Parties can presume anything they tell the mediator outside the presence of the other party will remain confidential. However, there may be times when a mediator asks for your permission to share some information with the other party. Unless the mediator asks and you approve it, the mediator cannot and will not share any information you provide in confidence.

It is important to understand that the mediator is not representing anyone and is not affiliated with either party or attorney in any way. The mediator also is not serving as a fact-finder or substitute "judge." The mediator's role is not to assign blame, decide who is "right", or predict what a court might do. Often by the time mediation occurs, each party may have retained expert witnesses, conducted extensive legal research and engaged in factual discovery. This often can lead to each party feeling very strongly that they are going to prevail at trial. During mediation is not the time to debate the relative legal merits of each party's case and guess what a jury or judge most likely will do. Mediation is not about predicting which party has a better case, has the better defenses, or has a better chance of winning at trial.

Mediation has many benefits over traditional litigation. Foremost, mediation is the most cost-efficient and time-efficient means of resolving conflict. Traditional litigation can take years to resolve a legal conflict and the associated attorney fees and expenses can cost several thousands of dollars. By getting your conflict resolved through mediation, parties achieve finality, certainty and remove all of the stress and anxiety that most clients incur as a result of ongoing litigation.

In addition to the time and cost savings, mediation allows the parties to control their exposure to unwanted outcomes and eliminates all the risks associated with pursuing remedies in court. Mediation provides the parties a chance to reach a result they have self-determined and which best fits their situation, which does not necessarily occur by having someone else decide the outcome. Mediation presents an opportunity for creative, non-traditional solutions to conflict, which are rarely available through typical legal avenues.

Another major benefit to mediation between parties that have a pre-exiting relationship, is that it provides a much greater chance of the conflicted parties reaching a resolution that will allow them to preserve their relationship, whether it be as family members, friends, co-workers, or neighbors.

In mediation, Brad Sneed will help the parties determine if they have any shared interests or common goals that can be used as a stepping stone to put the conflict to rest. During mediation with Brad Sneed, the parties alone are each uniquely qualified to address what they value and what interests need to be protected or preserved in the resolution of your dispute.

If you think mediation may help resolve a legal conflict you are facing, please contact Kormanik & Sneed LLP to arrange a consultation. If you come to mediation with the commitment to give it your best effort and give the process a real chance to work, there is a very good chance you will achieve a mediated resolution.