What is Mediation?
Mediation at Vadimus Law is a cooperative process in which Attorney Stephen Karpf assists parties in a dispute by guiding respectful and open discussions, leading the parties to find and use appropriate resources and advisors, and ideally helps all parties to their collective goal of reaching a final, enforceable agreement resolving some or all of their dispute.
What can be accomplished through Mediation? Mediation can save the parties time and money compared to more costly and adversarial litigation, gives the parties control over the process, improves long-term relationships, uncovers reasons for disputes which may not have been realized by all of the parties, and gathers information for effective and informed decision-making inside and outside the mediation. The primary goal of Mediation is for the parties to reach lawful, enforceable agreements which will lead in the future to better relationships through mutual understanding, agreement, and willing compliance.
When is Mediation a good idea? Mediation is almost always a good option when the parties are trying to maintain important long-term relationships. Parties who use mediation to save time, money and aggravation include separated or divorced parents, co-owners of a business, family members who are trustees and beneficiaries in a trust or estate plan, guardians and conservators and family members of their wards, neighbors, landlords and tenants, employers and employees, and even competing businesses. Even when the parties are looking to walk away and never be involved with one another again, mediation can still reduce stress, the time involved, and the money spent to resolve the conflict when compared with active litigation.
Is Mediation confidential? Mediation with Attorney Karpf is confidential. This means that statements made and documents created during the mediation are not admissible as evidence; Attorney Karpf will not produce documents from his file nor testify about the mediation in any Court or administrative proceeding; nor can any person participating in the mediation be subpoenaed to testify concerning a communication made during and which was related to the mediation. However, that does not prevent parties from using information they have obtained through the mediation in order to find admissible evidence elsewhere.
How do I know Attorney Karpf will be fair to me? As a mediator, Attorney Karpf is neutral and unbiased. The power of making decisions will rest in the hands of the parties involved, not the mediator. His goal is for the parties to be fair to one another.
Is Mediation binding? Mediation is completely voluntary. Either party, at any time, can stop participating in the mediation. If the parties reach a final, written agreement, then that agreement may be legally binding on the parties, either at the time of signature or after review and approval by a Court.
Can I avoid having a lawyer by using Mediation? Attorney Karpf, as a mediator, does not represent the interests of any party. A good mediator recommends that each party have a lawyer to consult during the mediation (not necessarily in mediation sessions) or at least to review any possibly final agreements.
I have a family issue which needs mediation. Where can I learn more? You can read the Frequently Asked Questions page at the Massachusetts Council of Family Mediation to learn more about mediation specifically in a family law context.