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Want to resolve your dispute without the costs associated with expensive litigation? Want to maintain control over the outcome of your dispute?

Common Questions About Mediation

What is Mediation?

Mediation is the opportunity for people to conduct their own settlement negotiations in the presence of someone who is trained to help them stay focused on resolving the conflict. An attorney-mediator can also draft documents to be filed with the court.

Why mediation?

The Gerber Law Firm knows the importance of trying to resolve matters without resorting to a trial. They recognize that litigation is not only expensive, but it also hands over control of the most important parts of people’s lives to a system that is not equipped to handle the complex interpersonal dynamics associated with friends and business associates in conflict. People who resolve their cases by mediation generally have a more amicable resolution in a more private environment. The solutions can be more creative and tailored to the needs of the parties.

What Role Does the Gerber Law Firm Play?

The Gerber Law Firm,  provides comprehensive private mediation services to help resolve conflicts as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. While we provide mediation services for all types of disputes, our clients typically seek assistance in resolving conflicts over a breach of contract, business divorce, or business dispute.

As the mediator, the attorneys at The Gerber Law Firm will be neither your lawyer, nor the judge or a decision maker. They act as an experienced, impartial person whose role is to provide options for the parties and to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to reaching an agreement. Our goal is to assist you to most effectively, comfortably, and confidently represent yourself in mediation. In mediation, you will be making all of the decisions because the parties have complete control of the outcome.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

This information is intended to assist you to maximize and economize your mediation experience.

Can mediation work if we aren’t speaking with each other?

Sometimes the parties are so charged and upset that placing them together only makes reaching an agreement more difficult. Sometimes separating the parties into separate rooms encourages a more civil and productive mediation session. Often, the parties may have tried counseling or negotiating directly between themselves, but got stuck on principle instead of the facts at hand. The presence of a neutral and impartial third party creates a dynamic that helps achieve a level of communication with the other party that you would most likely not be able to reach on your own.

Why choose The Gerber Law Firm as a mediator?

Yonatan Z. Gerber has more than a decade of experience mediating business disputes and small claims litigation. Beginning in law school, Yoni volunteered for the Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) and has continued his association with the DRC and its mission statement to this day. He will work with you to achieve an outcome without a trial and with the least amount of bitterness and animosity possible. In many cases, this can lead to an atmosphere where you can cooperatively operate your business or investments with your business partners for many years to come.

What if we can’t mediate?

If you know mediation is not for you, you can retain The Gerber Law Firm to represent you. Mr. Gerber is an active litigator, representing parties in all types of litigation. Henegotiates and litigates, and is available to review agreements you may have mediated elsewhere. Once you begin the mediation process with Mr. Gerber as your mediator and then are unable to settle, you will be unable to retain him as your attorney because he cannot switch from being a neutral mediator to an advocate for one party against the other.

How long will the mediation take and how much will it cost?

Unfortunately, it is hard to precisely predict how long a mediation will take. These issues depend primarily on how agreeable the participants are. The Gerber Law Firm charges $500 per party for a half-day and $1000 per party for a full-day mediation.

What if we already agree on lots of issues?

Fantastic! The first thing that we want to do in mediation is to identify what you already agree on. Often those points of agreement can serve as a foundation for your overall agreement. Principles underlying agreements on certain “easy” issues, can often be applied to resolve other issues. We will want to be sure that your agreement is well-informed and that you are aware of the many issues that you may want to consider. What is included in your agreement is up to you. Our goal is to support your well-informed decision-making.

What are our chances for success?

The success rate depends on the motivation of the parties to reach an agreement.

What if we don’t reach an agreement?

In mediation, all discussions and materials, with very few listed exceptions, are confidential. If no mediated agreement is reached, evidence of the mediation discussions, mediation materials, and any draft mediation resolution will not be admissible in court or any other adversarial proceeding.

Who pays for mediation?

Responsibility for mediation fees is an issue to be decided by mediation participants. Participants are encouraged to consider sharing fees to some extent so all will benefit from an expeditious and economic resolution.

What about our own attorneys?

As a mediator and attorney himself, Mr. Gerber is ethically bound to advise you to have any mediated stipulated Judgment reviewed by individual legal counsel prior to your signing that agreement. In practice, we have found that it works best for mediating parties to obtain individual legal advice throughout the process. This legal advice may be best obtained early in the mediation, by having legal counsel review a near-final draft agreement, and by having counsel review the final agreement. This level of consultation will dramatically elevate your confidence in the final agreement.

What about utilizing experts?

It may make sense, in a particular case, for mediation participants to retain mutually trusted experts. For example, participants may desire a valuation of real property, personal property, or a business. It is also not uncommon for mediating parties to choose to jointly consult with an accountant, appraiser, or tax expert. Mediation participants with parenting concerns may find it beneficial to obtain the thoughts and recommendations of a child psychologist. Mediation participants may choose to jointly retain an impartial advisory attorney who, based upon an agreed-upon set of facts, may render an advisory non-binding opinion on how a court might resolve the identified issues. Typically this technique is used when the parties reach an impasse on a difficult issue.

What else can I do to prepare?

Perhaps the most important thing any mediating party can do to ensure a satisfying and successful mediation experience is to prepare for the mediation discussions by seeking clarity as to his or her desired outcomes and perceived standards of fairness. Stated otherwise, “What do you want?” and “How will you know that it is alright to agree?”

What if there are children involved in a mediation?

We value children and proudly offer a child-friendly office environment. Whenever children are involved in the legal process, our focus is always on what is best for them.

Can you draft the legal documents?

Yes. Our office can draft a legally binding settlement agreement and/or a Stipulated Judgment and have the documents filed with the Court. Having the documents drafted by the mediator is generally less expensive and contentious than having them drafted by an attorney representing one of the parties. Though, as stated above, having your own attorney review documents is recommended.

The Gerber Law Firm is committed to providing high quality, personalized representation for our clients. We encourage a collaborative approach, stressing mediation and negotiation whenever possible. We are experienced and compassionate, recognizing that every case is unique and our entire staff works together with clients as a team.