Any civil suit filed in North Carolina must undergo the civil mediation process. But besides this requirement, legal mediation provides individuals and businesses with the opportunity to save time, preserve relationships, and achieve solutions not available through arbitration or other resolution methods.
Your success with legal mediation heavily depends on the amount of preparation you put into the process. We recommend taking these steps before you begin the legal mediation process:
- Solidify your key interests—Before you start the legal mediation process, identify your priority claims and determine if there is anything else of importance to you. For example, you may want to avoid adverse publicity or want to maintain a key business relationship.
- Identify what could prevent you from accepting a deal—There may be major issues you want to work out that could prevent you from accepting a deal if they remain unresolved. Commit to bringing these up first or as primary issues during the mediation process.
- Perform a reality check—What is the likelihood of your case going to court at the end of the legal mediation process? Explore this possibility before you start mediation instead of after to prevent surprises or additional issues.
- Explore the idea of making the initial offer—Making the first offer during the dispute resolution process may help you feel more satisfied with the final outcome rather than if you waited for the opposing party to propose a deal. Think about what terms you would want to include in this offer once you get to this part of the process.