Briefcase: Mediation

Guest: Jim Lawrence


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When there is a legal dispute, often you will hear the words, "I will see you in court." Mediation is an alternative and sometimes overlooked option to resolve conflicts. Jim Lawrence, with the University of Houston Law Center, is an expert in mediation and explains why parties should use this process, rather than go to trial.

"When parties in dispute use the skills of a neutral third party to craft a solution to their conflict, they get more control over the outcome," Professor Lawrence said. "Mediators help parties seek win-win solutions. Mediation is also confidential and less expensive than trials."

"Mediation is often required by either contract or court order," Lawrence continued. "Sometimes a judge requires parties to pursue mediation before they are allowed to litigate their differences. Even when compelled, competing parties often find the best remedies through this solution-oriented process."