Meeting between the parties and their lawyers with goals to settle the case w/o court intervention
Occurs anytime before the final hearing
Successful = agreement
Parties negotiate w/ the help of a neutral 3rd party/
Can be mandatory or voluntary
Mediator does not have to be an attorney.
Memorandum of Understanding
Can have partial agreement or none at all
Parties, who have difficultly being around one another, meet separately at different times with a mediator. The mediator goes back and forth between the parties.
Similar to private judging
Neutral third party renders a decision
Appeals from this are limited
the attorneys and clients to act as a team; removing the pressure of “winning” at trial. The attorneys and clients sign a “not to litigate”agreement and if there a failure to resolve the case, then the parties are required to find new counsel.
Neutral 3rd party works w/ parents to help resolve disputes.
Goals such as:
establish & follow a parenting time schedule
resolve & reduce conflicts over parenting
decrease constant litigation
Open to the public
Court will look to see if its fair or one-sided
Approved = merged into dissolution decree and considered a court order
Why go to trial?
Entrenched baragaining - not willing to compromise
anger towards spouse
exchange witness lists or when they will be
narrow the issues to be tried
establish any issues that may need to be addressed beforehand
establishes dates and times of important trial events
Paralegal's Role in Trial Prep.
Evidence is assembled (Testimony, witnesses-experts or lay)