Palo Alto Mediator Jeffrey C MillerJeff has extensive experience with alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation and arbitration.  He has helped hundreds of clients settle disputes outside the courtroom, both pre- and post-filing. If you’re involved in a dispute with a business partner, a vendor, or any other business associate, call Jeff today to discuss how he can help you settle your dispute without the high emotional and financial toll incurred in litigation.

What is mediation?

Mediation is essentially a facilitated negotiation. The mediator is usually an attorney or other professional with superior communication skills who understands the subject matter of the dispute. A mediator assists the parties in attempting to reach a resolution of their dispute. The parties may opt to have their individual attorneys attend the mediation to advise their clients on the implications of specific settlement terms. If the parties reach an agreement at mediation, they may sign a written settlement document that will bind them to the terms of the settlement. The information shared in mediation is confidential and can generally be protected against later use in litigation or arbitration.

What are the advantages of mediation?

The primary advantages of mediation are:

  • Mediation is quicker and cheaper than litigation;
  • Mediation allows the parties to resolve their own dispute in a way they feel is most advantageous to them;
  • Mediation allows the parties to maintain their relationship, which would almost surely be broken in litigation;
  • Generally speaking, parties can enter mediation quite quickly, so long as they can agree on a mediator (as opposed to trial dates in state and federal courts, which can take years to obtain)

What are the disadvantages of mediation?

Mediation poses some disadvantages. First and foremost, the disputants may pursue mediation and still not be able to settle their case, in which case they’ve lost some time and money (though the amount is usually relatively minor). Secondly, by sharing information in an attempt to settle a case, there is always the danger that the information may later come back to be of some harm in litigation. While there are procedural rules to minimize this danger, it can never be entirely removed.

The Bottom Line

Many clients are skeptical about the probability of success using mediation, as opposed to a trial or an arbitration where a neutral party decides the outcome. Nonetheless, many (if not most) cases are successfully resolved in mediation. Furthermore, the people involved in the dispute tend to be more satisfied with the mediated settlement terms since they themselves have crafted those terms. Finally, in many cases, the parties are able to successfully reconstruct their relationships after mediation, unlike after litigation, which often makes relationships impossible to continue due to the adversarial, “winner takes all” nature of the process.

Why hire Jeff as your mediator?

Jeff is an approved arbitrator of the American Arbitration Association. He is also an approved mediator and arbitrator for the Santa Clara County Superior Court and the Santa Clara County Bar Association. He has received countless referrals from firms of all sizes because of his extensive experience mediating disputes and his collegial approach to the process. Here are a few more advantages to hiring Jeff for your mediation:

  • He charges a flat hourly rate, regardless of the number of parties involved in the dispute;
  • He does not charge a filing fee;
  • He does not charge for a minimum amount of time;
  • He is available to work in his office or he can travel to other locations, depending on the convenience of counsel and parties;
  • He is experienced with all aspects of the settlement process and he comes prepared with the proper forms for effecting the settlement immediately.

For more information about how Jeff can help you resolve a legal dispute using alternative dispute resolution (i.e. mediation), please contact him at (650) 321-0410 or at jeff@jeffmillerlaw.com.