Jerry Zarley - Certified Mediator
Jerry Zarley - Certified Mediator

Mediation is a process (mostly voluntary but compulsory -- by contract or court order -- in some cases) in which people in conflict come together with a neutral third person -- the mediator -- who assists them in reaching a voluntary agreement. The mediator helps them clarify the issues, consider options, and reach a workable settlement that fits their needs. Many disputes (e.g., family, personal, business, employment, property, neighbor, landlord-tenant) can be effectively mediated to a fair and constructive resolution that participants believe in and will comply with.

The benefits of mediation over other avenues of resolving disputes are many. To name just a few:

Cost: The mediation process is a lot less costly than going to court and paying court costs and attorney fees. In court, the cost typically outweighs the benefits.

Time: Using the court system can take anywhere from 30 days to years. A dispute can be resolved in a matter of hours using the mediation process.

Confidentiality: Court records are public records, which are open to the public. Mediation agreements are usually confidential.

Control: The responsibility and authority for coming to an agreement remain with the people who have the conflict.

Higher satisfaction: Participants in mediation report higher satisfaction rates than people who go to court. Because of their active involvement, they have a higher commitment to upholding the settlement than people who have a judge decide for them. Mediations end in agreement 70 to 80% of the time and have high rates of compliance.

However, unless you're in a higher income bracket, mediation can also seem costly, especially since many mediators are also attorneys. But, although you always have the right to seek the advice of an attorney, you are not legally obligated to use an attorney as a mediator. Combining my education, life experiences, and the many years in my profession as a paralegal, I am uniquely qualified to mediate most disputes, and at reasonable rates. My mediation services include:

  • Family Mediation: All matters regarding family situations, from familial disagreements to marriage dissolution, including the resolution of issues of custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, and property and debt division. In addition, step-family, non-traditional partnerships, prenuptial, cohabitation, parent-child, elder care, and adoption agreements can also be effectively mediated as can family business and estate disputes.
  • Personal matters, such as between friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
  • Labor and employment matters, such as claims of harassment and/or discrimination.
  • Landlord-tenant disputes.

In all these cases, clarity and resolution can be achieved without the trauma and expense typically associated with the adversarial treatment of these disputes. Each party's interests are fully heard and honored, both in the mediation process and in the resulting agreement. Mediation allows the parties the opportunity to fairly, clearly, and creatively structure their future relations.

Rates:

  • Online and in-person at my home office rate: $50 per hour per party, paid in advance.
  • In-person at another location: $50 per hour per party, paid in advance, plus travel expenses (not including vehicle miles).

After the initial consultation, I will estimate the amount of time needed for the mediation session, and that amount per hour must be paid in advance. If the session ends earlier than estimated, I will immediately reimburse you for the time not used.

  • Pro bono cases taken upon approval or court order.

Contact me for your free initial consultation.