Why Hire a Gay and Lesbian Rights Lawyer Arlington with a similar background to yourself: Asian, Chinese, Philippine, Vietnamese, El Salvador, Guatemalan, Canadian, German, Latino, Mexican, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Romanian, Cuban, Korean, Indian, Hispanic, American, Foreign, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Orthodox, Mormon, or Buddhist?
If you do you will need a lawyer. The trouble is there are several thousand Attorneys out there just on the internet and the choice in finding a Gay and Lesbian Rights Lawyer Arlington appropriate for your case becomes more difficult. When you are trying to find a representative there are a few guidelines you will want to follow. Below you will find out how to choose the appropriate lawyer for your needs.
When trying to find a lawyer you first must understand the case you have. Some cases are very easy to determine, for instance those who have been in an accident often have personal injury needs. Those with problems at a hospital with a medical condition will have a malpractice suit and on and on. Once you have determined the type of representative you need, finding a lawyer becomes a little easier.
You may have a general practice representative or someone you have dealt with in Gay and Lesbian Rights Lawyer Arlington law. Most of us know someone who has had a attorney in the past. In this case you can ask the person for a referral. If you have a business lawyer you can ask them to recommend someone in the field of expertise you need. They will often have at least one name for you and a few to keep away from. Those who have worked with lawyers such as family or friends will also be able to give recommendations. They may say you don’t want this person or that their associate can help you. In either case you are better off to ask for a referral in finding a lawyer rather than other options.
The key to finding a representative that will help you out is knowing as much about them professionally as possible. You want to understand how many years they have practiced and what their specialty really is. Other wise you may find someone who is more out for the gain they will get rather than the gain you will get. When you deal with finding a lawyer, ask them their policies. Kind of interview them during the course of the conversation as well. Some will not charge unless the case is won, while others will charge a small fee during the entire process. It will depend on the case and of course your representative.
Finding a Lawyer who understands?
I am a do-it-yourselfer. I love working around my house: Painting, building, and even stuccoing. But there are exceptions, like plumbing. I hate plumbing.
One thing I have learned about my handyman hobby is that I should expect to buy twice the building materials that I should need to complete the project. Experience tells me that I will use all of those materials. My habit is to try to build the first time, fail, and then to try it again. Almost invariably, I will end up building or fixing up the same thing at least twice -- once or twice for practice, and then "for real."
Some who would never consider fixing a garage door or stuccoing a wall would unthinkingly prepare a will or trust using many materials found in bookstores. Bookstores abound with quick-fix be-your-own-lawyer books and CDs, featuring forms and fill-the-blank forms and programs for wills, trusts, and powers of attorney for healthcare decisions. Some of these materials are even state specific, offering different provisions for residents of different states.
Some of these do-it-yourself materials are fine, and may even be useful. If correctly used, many of these forms might work for a do-it-yourselfer. But suppose your case is different? Suppose you fail to properly use the form?
One thing I have noticed about building materials is that the old rule of thumb generally applies: you get what you pay for. The same is true in estate planning. But it is also true that legal documents such as wills and trusts oftentimes do not "speak" until the author is deceased or incapacitated. Because of this fact, in the case of estate plans the handyman analogy of buying double the building materials breaks down. If a wall is improperly built, it can be torn down and redone. But if a will is improperly drafted, or if it fails to state the intent of the author, there is often no opportunity for a second try. Rather, in many cases, when the author of the will or trust is incapacitated or deceased, the planning "solution" either fails, or has completely unexpected and unwanted consequences.
Still, to be a good consumer of legal services, self-education is essential in communicating needs to an estate planning professional. The following is an overview of some of the major estate planning topics that should be applicable in most states.
Help! I Must Avoid Probate!
Whither Will or Trust?
Like anything, there are pros and cons when choosing between a will and a trust. Most of the pros and cons relate to cost:
- Wills are generally less expensive than trusts to prepare. Trusts are usually more extensive documents, and require property transfers when "funding" them.
- Trusts are usually less expensive to administer than wills. However, probating a will can be expensive, depending upon the size of the estate. While there are costs associated with trust administration, it is usually less expensive than filing a petition to probate a will.
Depending upon the circumstance, trusts can provide similar benefits as certain types of conservatorships. If a settlor becomes unable to handle his or her own affairs, the successor trustee can step in and make the necessary decisions to manage the settlors' financial affairs. Wills do not offer this benefit. However, if a person suffers from dementia, for example, a conservatorship "of the person" may still be necessary.
There are benefits to each approach. Also, the law governing wills and trusts may vary from state to state. You should consult with a competent estate planning attorney to choose the right approach for you.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is not legal advice, and the use of it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any liability that might arise from your use or reliance on this article or any links from this article is expressly disclaimed. This article is not to be acted upon as if it were legal advice, and is subject to change without notice, or may include obsolete or dated information, or information not relevant to your jurisdiction. If you require legal services, you should consult with an attorney.
Amusement Park Injuries - Know Your Rights
The Anatomy of the RSI Epidemic
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is fast becoming one of the most common forms of disability in the workplace. In some industries it is already the number one cause of a temporary and permanent disability. In this article I will explain why and how we develop the elusive RSI.
The definition of RSI:
Repetitive strain injury is a medical term used to describe a pain or discomfort of the upper limb. Although a 'repetitive strain' can occur in any area of the body, physicians typically apply the term to a pain of the arm unit including the neck, shoulder upper back, arm, forearm and hand, that is related to repetitive tasks. RSI is really an umbrella term used to catch any and all pains of the arm, but the most common forms include tennis and golfer's elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar neuritis, metacarpalgia, rotator cuff of the shoulder, chronic neck and upper back pain and limb numbness.
The signs and symptoms of RSI:
The signs and symptoms of RSI vary depending on the exact areas of the arm and neck involved in the pain syndrome; however, the most common RSI complaints include the following:
Numbness and tingling of the arm and / or hand
Pain and / or weakness of the upper arm and / or forearm, and / or wrist, and / or hand
Reduced range of motion and / or stiffness of the shoulder, elbow, wrist or fingers
Difficulty lifting of objects and / or tendency to drop objects (dropsy)
The tendency of pain and / or numbness to increase with repetitive activity and at rest
Background of RSI:
RSI is considered a soft tissue pain syndrome whereby the pain is derived from a disorder of the muscles and tendons of the neck and limb. To fully understand how muscles can cause disease, it is important to understand the current principles of myofascial pain (MFP) and myofascial dysfunction (MFD).
Muscles shorten and can potentially scar in a shortened position as a result of injury or exercise. This process of shortening is often exaggerated at rest. Therefore, muscles that work repeatedly in a particular action eventually shorten and over time, will develop some form of scar formation in areas of the muscle. These scars can be described as microinfarcts, or more popularly, as trigger points. In traumatic cases, muscles will shorten and scar in a much more accelerated period of time and often more severely.
Muscles shorten persistently if nerve conduction to that muscle is interrupted. This is known as Cannon's Law, and is very important in understanding how we can develop repetitive strain injury. Walter Cannon was able to clearly demonstrate that muscles become super-sensitive and ultimately persistently shortened with eventual scarring when their nerve conduction is partially interrupted. For example, if the nerve supply to the forearm extensors is interrupted by a disk compressing the C4 or C5 nerve root, the forearm extensors will persistently shorten and cause chronic tennis elbow.
Shortened muscles around a joint will often change the static position of normal movement of the joint.
Furthermore, persistent compression of the joint may occur and contribute to an abnormal and accelerated wear pattern of cartilage and eventually the joint. Joint pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion are common side effects. Over time, destruction of the joint and osteoarthritis are predictable complications. The spine is also affected by these principles of persistent compression when the deep intrinsic spinal muscles are injured and develop shortening and contractures. The vertebral compression will cause disk herniation and spinal stenosis. The vertebrae, disks, nerve roots and the spinal cord can be affected by herniated disks and swollen facet joints.
Furthermore, the computer-related RSI often affects the upper back area (thoracic spine); an area which has secondary nerve supply to the arm. The thoracic spine can be extraordinary to treat particularly in the presence of kyphosis. The end result of computer-related RSI is a person with a hump back, forward neck, forward shoulders, compressed disks, suffering diffuse muscle shortening and multiple entrapped nerves, and typically affecting both arms.
The Treatment of RSI:
*The treatment of a complicated/chronic RSI begins with a detailed history and examination often indicating far more disease than initially thought.
*Detailed patient education of the mechanism and exercise physiology is important such that they ca be aware of aggravating factors and to succeed with personal exercises.
*Physicians and nurses need be more aware of the various patterns of RSI for their early recognition and proper treatment.
*The key part of actual therapy must include the implementation of spine and limb "neuropathic" stretching and resistance training (the Lamb Program) that allows for all muscle groups affected to be treated, and for spinal and limb segments to be properly repositioned.
*It is important to recognize the limitations of imaging technology, i.e. MRI fails to detect an estimated 40% of disk disease.
*The Implementation of injury avoidance and education of RSI-injury factors for the patient helps to reduce re-injury and progression of disease.
*The use of specialized injection technologies-surgical dry needling, the Patented Lamb Method of Spinal Botox, injectable NSAIDS can drastically reverse the compressive effect within the spinal anatomy and help most RSI's and other pain syndromes.
*Specialized relaxation training systems help to reduce RSI-related muscle tension (i.e. ASeRT Systems).
*Positional education for sitting, standing and sleeping, as well as proper sleep education help to reduce the progressive pattern of bad sleep and bad pain.
*The implementation of laser/magnetic combination therapy and MET has demonstrated effectiveness as an adjunct to various pain syndromes including RSI.
*MET or micro-current therapy is the latest in electronic or electro-medicine that properly addresses the abnormal electrical potential concerns in chronic pain and RSI versus TENS or EMS which are demonstrating oxidizing potential of soft tissue with repeated use.
*Obviously the addition of medications can be a major adjunct to RSI and other chronic pains, and I will quickly comment on two medications.
*Anti-inflammatories have a beneficial effect in RSI, but must be tapered when stopping, otherwise reactive inflammation and spasm can occur. Lyrica, a new "anti-neuropathic" agent has been helpful in chronic pain. I have found improvement in deep spinal muscle pathology in many patients indicating that cessation of transmission of pain information has a relaxing effect upon spinal and skeletal muscles.
Need advice: Gay and Lesbian Rights Lawyer Arlington ?
Arizona Employment Law - How Long Does an Employer Have to Pay a Discharged Employee?
How can you flip a contract, instead of a property?
You have seen the Carlton Sheets or Ron Le Grand advertising about making a fortune in the
real estate business. And you still wonder if it is true or false.
Well, stop right here, save your money and read this 'No risk, No money, No nothing'
way to make money with no money down STEP BY STEP and FOR FREE!!!.
Let's say you find a property for sale, maybe a 'for sale by owner' or anything else.
Do your homework and know how much that property worth. Let assume the property is worth
$100,000 market value today and the owner wants to sell due to divorce, foreclosure or
whatever the reason. The transaction will be easier if the owner is motivated to sell.
He is asking $95,000 for quick sale. Make sure this property can sell
for around $100,000 easily.
This addendum needs to be signed by first seller, by first buyer(you) and by second buyer.
At closing, you name does not appear on the deed, the deed will go from first seller to second buyer. You just get your $12,000 check.
Or you did not sell within 60 days. So day 50 or 55, you do an inspection and because
you bought it 'AS IS' with your right to inspect, you will not buy the property because you will not be happy with the inspection for whatever reason. Lost of inspection fee ($150-$300)
Is Michigan's No Fault Auto Insurance a Better Alternative?Imagine the ideal business world - where every business follows every term of a contract diligently and there is no problem. However, the real world is not such an easy place. Unexpected delays, not carrying out the terms properly or not carrying out these at all are frequent. This could spell trouble for the other party involved in the contract.In such a situation, the most important thing to do is get in touch with a commercial litigation lawyer proficient in Florida laws. Any breach of contract may mean financial losses and unnecessary trouble for your business. You need a legal advisor to assess whether you have adequate grounds to claim damages for this breach. Challenging a breach at court requires it to have a 'material' purpose. Suppose the failure to timely certain tools, from a business with which you have a contract, prevent your business from manufacturing a bulk order. If your lawyer is capable to establish that you suffered losses because of this breach, there are material grounds for filing a suit.When there are adequate grounds for you to recover damages because of the breach, your lawyer is best suited to tell you which method to opt for. If the case involves less than $5,000 worth in damages, you may seek dispute resolution at a Florida small claims court. You may also choose alternative dispute resolution methods -Mediation - having a mediator review the case Arbitration - having a binding arbitrator work out a resolutionIf all these attempts fail, you need to ask your Miami commercial litigation lawyer to file a suit. Choose a qualified and experienced litigation expert for proper presentation of your case at court. If you can establish that the breach had an adverse effect on your business, you may be able to get a legal remedy.Specific Performance: this involves the court ordering the breaching party to perform the duty as the terms of the contract specify. This is, however, available if the subject matter of the contract is rare or unique. Damages: the objective is to compensate for the damages the non-breaching party suffers or to punish the breaching party. The different types are as follows:Compensatory damages - the monetary loss for the breach, or its consequential action Liquidated damages - as specified as a term in the contract Punitive damages - to punish the breaching partyCancellation and Restitution: your commercial litigation lawyer may ask for cancellation of the contract, where all parties get relief from all obligations and later sue for restitution, i.e. the breaching party needs to pay for the work or do it themselves.
Working With Estate and Wills Lawyers - What You Need To Know
In this article we're going to discuss some of the most famous patents in history. These are inventions that greatly changed the world we live in.
To go over all the patents that have changed the world would take a month of Sundays and then some. What follows is just a brief look at some of the greatest patents in our history.
What is considered the most valuable patent is the one issued to Alexander Graham Bell for his invention of the telephone. The patent was number 174,465 issued in 1876. Ironically, early attempts to make the telephone popular were unsuccessful. People looked at the idea as nothing more than a novelty and didn't take its communication possibilities seriously. Try telling that to all the people walking around with cell phones today.
Probably the most famous patent was the one issued to Frederic Auguste Bartholdi for his design of the Statue Of Liberty. The Statue Of Liberty came to New York on June 19, 1885. It was a gift of friendship given to the United States from the people of France. It was intended to celebrate their 100 years of independence 10 years earlier.
The statue is constructed of copper sheets which are assembled on a framework of steel supports. In order to be transported to America the statue was disassembled into 350 pieces and was packed in 214 crates. It was then reassembled when it arrived. Nothing like this was ever done before and most likely will never be done again.
Understanding Spanish Grammar - The Indefinite Article
A patent is a patent is a patent. False! There are many different subcategories of patents. This article demonstrates the 3 main types of invention patents:
1. Utility Patents (cover new and useful inventions such as mechanical devices, electronics, medical devices, biotechnology, gadgets, and processes for making things).
2. Design Patents (cover new and ornamental designs of products (articles of manufacture) such as containers, furniture, toys, or housewares).
TIP: Try not to spend much time determining exactly what type of patent you should file for. This is one of the responsibilities of your patent attorney. Don't be the patient who self-subscribes his/her illness on the internet, and then walks into the doctors office preaching to the doctor what they have! Same holds true for patents and intellectual property.
How to Cure Ankle Injuries
The process for mediation will be dependent upon how mediation is triggered. Mediation can be triggered by:
a court or tribunal
an agreement to mediate.
A contract can state that when a dispute occurs to do with the contract or any matter of contractual import or bearing the parties must go to mediation. A well crafted mediation clause will provide that the parties must agree upon a mediator or in the absence of agreement the contract should provide that the matter must be referred to a nomination body to nominate a mediator.
The contact will provide that the mediator will be free to conduct the mediation as he or she sees fit, but the contract will also provide that if the mediation breaks down then the parties are at liberty to abort the mediation. Conversely the contract will provide that if resolution of the dispute through mediation is effected then the terms of settlement that underpin that accord must be in writing, must be co signed by the parties and the mediator and the accord will then be binding.
An example of a contract induced mediation clause is below
The Parties must mediate disputes.
The parties to the contract must use the mediation procedure to resolve a dispute before commencing legal proceedings.
The mediation procedure is:
The party who wishes to resolve a dispute must give a notice of dispute to the other party, and to the selected mediator, or, if that mediator is not available, to a mediator appointed by the president of the Law Institute.
The notice of dispute must state that a dispute had arisen, and state the matters in dispute.
The parties must cooperate with the mediator in an effort to give an opinion to technical matters. Each party must pay a half share of the cost of the opinion.
If the dispute is settled, the parties must sign a copy of the terms of settlement.
If the dispute is not resolved in 14 days after the mediator had been given notice, or within any extended time that the parties agreed to in writing, the mediation must cease.
Each party must pay a half share of the costs of the mediator to the mediator.
The terms of the settlement are binding on the parties and override the terms of the contract if there is any conflict.
Either party may commence legal proceedings when mediation ceases.
The terms of settlement may be tendered in evidence in any mediation or legal proceedings.
The parties agree that written statements given to the mediator or to one another and any discussions between the parties or between the parties and the mediator during the mediation period are not admissible by the recipient in any legal proceedings.
Court or Tribunal Ordered Mediation
Most courts require litigated matters to be referred to mediation before the case goes to hearing. The courts normally have a published list of mediators that the parties can choose from and each party has to pay the costs of the mediator.
If the mediation facilitates a settlement then the matter is concluded and the legal proceedings will be aborted by consent. If the mediation is unsuccessful then the matter will in all likelihood proceed to trial.
In some jurisdictions like the VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal) the parties do not have to pay for the mediator and this is a significant cost saving and benefit that flows from such benevolence.
Agreement Based Mediation
Any party to any dispute, be it civil, commercial or planning can at any time agree to mediate. All the parties need to do is to find a mediator and then in good faith attempt to settle the matter.
There still however needs to be a rigour, there is little point in settling a dispute unless the settlement is agreed in writing, is witnessed and is evidenced by an instrument that states that the parties have agreed to resolve all of their disputes and differences to do with the subject matter.
Any mediated settlement agreement has to be comprehensive, well drafted and must embrace all matters that gave rise to the dispute. Poorly drafted settlement agreements are open to challenge and are frequently challenged when one of the parties in hindsight thinks that result could have been better.
If matters can be mediated at the gestation of a dispute, a mediated outcome has considerable merit. There is little doubt that the fastest and cheapest way to resolve a dispute if negotiations breakdown is through mediation. In any partnership agreement that I have entered into with fellow practitioners or businessman I have insisted on the inclusion of a mediation clause. Resort to court, is last resort.
One of the ostensible benefits of mediation is confidentiality. If a matter is resolved by mediation the disputants can keep their issues of discontent "in house". If there is any "dirty linen" it is "washed" in-house, never in public. For people in high office this is most important, reputations particularly in this day of age where communications via the internet are immediate and widespread mean that anything odorous can be seized upon and published very quickly. Furthermore once the odium is out there it can never be archived or placed in a vault that is dedicated to the scurrilous. Information that is published on the web remains there in perpetuity for all and sundry. The need for confidential resolution of disputes is therefore greater than ever and mediation is a useful although not necessarily perfect way of achieving this.
Not everyone however is convinced that a benefit of mediation is confidentiality.
"It could be said that the reality of confidentiality in mediation is in large part reliant on the goodwill of the parties. If good will breaks down, then somewhat ironically, whether confidentiality will be upheld or not depends on relatively insecure legal protections"
(Field, Rachael and Wood, Neal (2006) "Confidentiality: An ethical dilemma for marketing mediation?" Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal 17(2):pp. 79-87 at 7).
"From an ethical marketing perspective it is less than desirous to use the concept of confidentiality to promote mediation; certainly not without providing full information about the qualified nature of the concept in practice. Indeed, the accuracy and legitimacy of some of the assertions made about confidentiality in mediation can be brought into serious question"
(Field, Rachael and Wood, Neal (2006) "Confidentiality: An ethical dilemma for marketing mediation?" Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal 17(2):pp. 79-87 at 16).
As one of the perceived benefits of mediation is confidentiality, yet in actual practise as the said co-authors contend this may be an assumption in some instances rather than a fact, settlement condition "belts and braces" should be brought to bear to secure confidentiality. Where settlement via mediation is engineered the settlement agreement should have a confidentiality clause, any breach of which is actionable in a court of law. If part of the consideration in the settling of a dispute is confidentially it should be expressed as such, then a breach of confidentiality is a breach of that confidentiality provision and actionable.
A greater problem is if settlement is not effected by mediation. How confidential is information conveyed during negotiations in these circumstances? Field, Rachael and Wood have said the notion of whether information remains confidential or not may be reliant upon the good will of the parties. All well and good but of little comfort to disputants at loggerheads with one another, particularly if the mediation proves fruitless and as it can on occasion, counterproductive and a tension exacerbater.
(Michael Moffitt "Suing Mediators" Boston University Law Review, Vol. 83:147 at page 150)
The difficulty in suing mediators is probably because it is a new addition to the dispute resolution repertoire, somewhat of a dark and evolving art. As canvassed previously mediators are not supposed to make decisions and although a mediator never makes a decision, the errant mediator in making a recommendation or proffering an opinion that affects a settlement is influencing the decision to settle. If the decision is settled and compromised on the basis of a misconceived mediator`s expressed inclination, the conduct of the mediator should be actionable at law.
Yet actionable on what basis? The duty of the mediator in not codified or regulated rather it is ill-defined and speculative As some mediators are not remunerated by the parties does their duty to the party differ to circumstances where the mediator is remunerated by the parties, (presumably on a fifty- fifty basis)?
Unlike lawyers who are required to enter into cost agreements with their clients that are regulated by solicitor conduct acts, mediators do not explicitly contract with clients to dispense impartiality, ethical reverence or detachment. So in the absence of any contractual obligation for one to sue a mediator, one would have to imply certain duties, duties that are to reiterate ill-defined and opaque.
For the above reasons it is not surprising that mediators apparently have not been sued to date. Although a party in the absence of any mediator immunity would be at liberty to sue a mediator, success could prove elusive. There would have to be compelling evidence that the mediator, very forcefully recommended a course of action, based upon flawed rationale or pretext, resulting in a settlement that materially prejudiced a party`s interests.
Furthermore if the aggrieved was represented by lawyers it would be even more difficult to sue the mediator, because the question would be asked "Why did your lawyer not advise you to refuse to accede to the mediator's recommendation?"
The disquieting consideration for lawyers, is that the lawyer must be ever vigilant and bold if need be, in ensuring that a bad deal that is put to the client is described as such in no uncertain terms, least the lawyer be implicated in a questionable outcome. The last thing the lawyer would want to become is a client "safety net" for a compromised settlement in circumstances where a forceful or vociferous mediator extolled the virtues of settlement and the lawyer meekly acquiesced or endorsed in that facilitation. For to do so could mean that the lawyer would be sued for a failure to emphatically reject the mediator`s recommended course of action.
As an aside the author can attest to his disappointment with respect to some of his experiences at mediation, albeit a minority of experiences. One case concerned a multimillion dollar dispute where the author was retained by an insurance company and the author's client flew an insurance instructor from one jurisdiction to the jurisdiction where the mediation occurred. The mediator was a fairly relaxed sort of character but the amount that he charged being $6,000 per day certainly did not relax the disputants. It was observed on a number of occasions that when there were "breakout" caucuses, the mediator used his downtime to read the newspapers in the public reception area that someone very kindly left in the reception of the office.
In another matter, again an insurance dispute, one team flew from one jurisdiction to another, at great cost. The mediation was getting traction but because the mediator and some other members of one of the adversary fraternity had to attend a religious festival, the mediation was cut short. The author, a religious man himself, considered that it would have been a far better idea for the mediator to arrange a date that did not conflict with either his or one of the other party's religious commitments. Particularity when the mediator was charging in excess of $5,000 per day and the combined legal spend for the day would have been $12,000. Needless to say that the team lacking the same religious affiliation was in a word; disappointed.
One of the greatest risks with mediations is that successful mediations in the author`s experience often go well into the night. In these circumstances many mediators instead of adjourning over to the following day put pressure on the parties to expedite the "wrapping up" of a settlement. In such circumstances mistakes can be made particularly in regards to the drafting of terms of settlement. This makes one hark back to Michael Moffitt's observation that the lack of formal structuring can compromise the quality of mediation services.
Mediation is relatively cheap and in tribunals such as the VCAT and the NZ WHT it is free. Court nominated mediators however are not free and when the courts, compel the parties to mediate the parties have to engage and pay for recognized and reputable mediators. This can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $10,000 a day but is money well spent if the matter is resolved quickly by mediation.
The most cost effective deployment of a mediator is at the outset of the dispute, at a time that precedes the initiation of legal proceedings.
An actual mediation rarely takes more than a day or so. The critical thing is to ensure that the mediation occurs close to the beginning of the dispute rather than on the eve of trial.
On point, the author was engaged by the Law Reform Commission and the Law Institute of Victoria in the early 90's to co-author a plain English building contract with Jude Wallace (Jude worked with the Victorian Law Reform Commission). We decided to make mediation the first "port of call" in the dispute resolution process whereby it was a term of contract that no party could issue proceedings in any jurisdiction unless they had at first instance attended mediation. The contract also provided that the parties remunerated the mediator on a 50/50 basis, regardless of outcome.
It is critical, for fear of labouring the point that mediation occurs at the outset. Ideally, a mediator should be engaged before a matter goes to court, arbitration or a tribunal but this requires a contractual condition that binds the parties to this course of action.
A mediated outcome at the earliest possible time can indeed arrest the deterioration of a commercial relationship. Mediated outcomes can also be positive, they can turn the tide from discord to accord and where this occurs the relationship can be strengthened.
Adversaries can also learn more about one another, a constructive mediation can enable both parties to better understand the other party's point of view. As Sir Laurence Street, the prominent Australian mediator and a past NSW Supreme Court Chief Justice likes to say. "If you look at a coin, the coin has a head and a tail. In any given dispute one party sees the tail, the other can only see the head, yet they are both looking at the same coin".