In mediation, parties involved in a dispute seek to resolve a conflict with the help of a neutral third party who facilitates negotiation. Mediation is a private and confidential process that can take the place of traditional litigation, employed by parties who wish to avoid such an expensive conflict. Ultimately, if mediation is successful, both parties will reach a compromise that resolves the contested issue(s) at hand.
Here at Ilkhanoff & Silverstein, we have litigated matters for decades. We recognize the stress and financial impact of litigation. Although sometimes litigation is necessary, legal matters are often best resolved through mediation. Our compassionate dispute resolution team is ready to assist you. We are committed to helping our clients resolve their disputes in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
What does a mediator do?
The mediator is there to assist with effective communication and to help ensure that the negotiation process goes smoothly. When parties have a disagreement but are reluctant to take the fight to court, mediation may be an option.
Mediators are objective third parties who listen to all sides of a dispute and assist the other parties to reach a satisfactory solution on their own. Mediation can be used to avoid litigation, but it may also be used in conjunction with litigation to reach the best agreement for both parties. We believe that it is a faster and less costly way to reach alternative agreements.
What legal matters can benefit from mediation?
Here at Ilkhanoff & Silverstein, we take pride in mediating a wide range of matters on behalf of our clients. Not only do we handle divorce and family law mediation, but we will also gladly mediate the following:
- Family and domestic relations disputes
- Personal injury cases
- Business, insurance, construction, and family issues
- Breach of contract actions
- Family business disputes
- Non-compete/non-solicitation disputes
- Construction claims
- Construction contract disputes
- Fire claims
- Transactional disputes
- Employment disputes
- Neighbor disputes
FAMILY MATTERS INCLUDE CUSTODY, DIVORCE, AND ALL DOMESTIC ISSUES – with which Paula has specialized training and knowledge. She actively litigates all family matters with proven successful results in several counties.
Before we get started working on your case, a mediation attorney from Ilkhanoff & Silverstein will conduct a pre-mediation call with you to discuss:
- How to craft a mediation process tailored to your dispute
- When the mediation should take place and who should attend
- How to exchange information and whether opening statements will be allowed
- Issues the mediator should be aware of that are not included in the written statements
- Any other questions or concerns you may have about your specific case
During the Mediation Session
During your session, a mediation attorney from our firm will establish ground rules for the discussion, and, from there, listen closely to all perspectives, quickly evaluate party dynamics and establish rapport, leaving ample time for them to focus on:
- What issues are in dispute and what might motivate each party to settle
- Making candid observations when appropriate and assisting both sides in assessing risk, overcoming impasses
- Pursuing creative, collaborative solutions that are consistent with the facts of the case and geared toward preserving mutual interests and ongoing relationships
- Ensuring that all parties trust the process and feel they have been heard and that all reasonable prospects for settlement have been considered
- Guiding parties toward resolution
After the entire dispute has been laid out from both sides, the parties can and may separate into private meetings with the mediator, called caucuses.
In these meetings, anything said to the mediator cannot be repeated outside of the caucus, except with express permission of the party. The confidentiality of these meetings will allow one’s counsel or client to express anything they felt uncomfortable stating in the presence of the other party. The party and mediator may discuss the risks, the party’s interests, settlement flexibility, and the strengths and weaknesses of the case.
Towards the end of these discussions, the mediator will begin to convey settlement offers between the parties until an agreement is reached.
Once a consensus has been reached, the parties will be brought back together for closure. In this stage, the mediator will help the parties memorialize the essential terms of the agreement, which then will be signed by both parties.
In the event that all issues are not resolved during the mediation session, we are tenacious and will follow up in an effort to keep parties engaged in the process and focused on resolution.
Mediations can be two-hour sessions/half-day sessions, or full-day sessions. We will work with the parties to establish cost-effective strategies to reach a resolution with less stress, less hassle, less fees and not having a judge or a court determine your fates.
About Paula Silverstein
Paula Silverstein brings over 25 years of experience working formerly as a defense attorney with the City of Philadelphia City Solicitor’s Office and Post & Schell and as a plaintiff attorney with her own firm since 1999 & the last 8 years as a private mediator and now also as a mediator for the Court of Common Pleas of York County. This experience in representing both plaintiffs and defendants in litigation enables her to thoroughly understand everyone’s legal position. Her goal is to work tirelessly to a resolution that is fair and equitable to all. Less stress, less costs and timely resolutions.
With substantial trial, litigation and mediation experience throughout the state of Pennsylvania, Paula understands the process as she is still actively litigating cases and this is woven into to the mediation process of which she has a tremendous success rate at settlement.
Contact our firm for your dispute resolution needs
At Ilkhanoff & Silverstein, we offer caring mediation services for all disputes. We understand the difficult and stressful process that can come with many settlements, and we are committed to helping clients find peaceful, satisfying resolutions. Our firm is well experienced in a number of legal areas, and we will use this understanding to guide our clients through the mediation process. Don’t wait to resolve your dispute. Contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.